It was a tough watch for Fulham fans on Sunday as there were a number of chances squandered in South London…
If you were to put a positive spin on the stalemate, you’d probably be able to describe it as another solid defensive performance and a clean sheet to go with it. The trouble with Sunday, as has been for most of the season, is that our finishing was lacklustre, and as with many other games this season, cost us 3 vital points. The job remains the same for the Whites, as we sit 3 points off safety with 12 games to go. A tough game against an in form Spurs at Craven Cottage awaits on Thursday evening, with the Cottagers looking to go one better than the previous matchday.
Going into the Spurs game on Thursday, it’s going to be tough to come away with a win. Are we capable of winning? Yes, 100%. No team is unbeatable this year, and you could perhaps put this season’s unpredictability down to no crowds, thus minimising the advantage of playing at home. The Cottagers are on a run of 5 games unbeaten taking 9 points from 15 games, including the fantastic performance at Goodison Park. Some would argue that Fulham have performed better against the ‘bigger’ clubs this season, playing with a nothing to lose attitude, and hopefully this game against Tottenham will be no different, especially as there will be a hunger to capitalise on Newcastle’s misfortunes with recent injuries sustained.
Tottenham come into this one after an emphatic 4-0 win over Burnley, giving the Clarets a sense of uncertainty as they sit just 5 points off the drop zone. Spurs looked like a different side compared to the one that had taken 1 victory in the previous 5 Premier League games ahead of Sunday afternoon’s win. This result gives them momentum and reason to look up towards the European places, however, Thursday’s visitors have been riddled with inconsistency this campaign, and the Cottagers will be looking to make the most of their fluctuating results by boosting their survival bid.
Gareth Bale’s return on loan from Real Madrid sparked optimism amongst Spurs fans, but the Welsh international has struggled for form and game time this season, that is until the winger’s brace on Sunday, perhaps signalling a turn in Bale’s form and confidence. Whoever starts at left back for Fulham will have their work cut out to stop a confident Bale at the Cottage.
As mentioned earlier, Thursday will be tough for us, but we know we’re capable of getting a result against Spurs. If we carry our recent performances over and add some quality finishing, I can see us picking up at least a point in this one.
PREDICTION: FULHAM 1-1 SPURS
PREFERRED LINE-UP: 4-4-2
HEAD TO HEAD
LEAGUE RECORD (OVERALL)
- GAMES PLAYED – 73
- FULHAM WINS – 11
- DRAWS – 25
- SPURS WINS – 37
- GOALS SCORED – 76
- GOALS CONCEDED – 125
LEAGUE RECORD (HOME)
- GAMES PLAYED – 36
- FULHAM WINS – 8
- DRAWS – 12
- SPURS WINS – 16
- GOALS SCORED – 46
- GOALS CONCEDED – 59
BIGGEST WINS AT CRAVEN COTTAGE
- FULHAM 1-5 SPURS (1903/04)
- FULHAM 0-4 SPURS (2006/07)
- FULHAM 4-0 SPURS (2010/11)
- FULHAM 1-4 SPURS (1919/20)
- FULHAM 4-1 SPURS (1964/65)
- FULHAM 0-3 SPURS (1905/06, 2012/13, 2016/17)
LAST 5 GAMES
- SPURS 1-1 FULHAM
- FULHAM 1-2 SPURS
- SPURS 3-1 FULHAM
- FULHAM 0-3 SPURS (FA CUP)
- SPURS 3-1 FULHAM
- FULHAM – DWDWD
- SPURS – WLLWL
COLLINS JOHN’S VIEW
Looking back at the Palace game, I thought we were very poor in the first half. We seemed nervous and knew how important the game was, especially with three tough games coming up. Second half, we settled and controlled the game. We had plenty of chances but couldn’t finish them which is the story of our season. It’s certainly two points dropped considering how poor Palace were but a point is better than nothing and keeps us three points behind Newcastle with our fate still in our own hands.
It’s a shame that we are playing Spurs off the back of a very convincing 4-0 win against Burnley and a comfortable route through to the next round in the Europa League. They were in very poor form but have showed what a good side they are in the past week and I expect it to be a tough game. With the firepower that Spurs have in attack (Kane, Son and Bale), it’s important that we have players at the top end of the pitch who can provide us with an option to ease the pressure on our defence. Josh Maja just doesn’t get involved enough and has been very quiet in the last couple of games. I would like to see Cavaleiro come back in, just to make us a bit busier in that area of the pitch. He’s done well when he’s come on lately and deserves a chance. I’d also bring Lemina into the midfield to provide more energy and to give Reed license to work his magic.
Spurs aren’t as bad as their recent form has made out. Likewise, Fulham aren’t the pushovers that our league position suggests. Another draw seems the most likely outcome and if you offered me a point now, I would take it.
PREDICTION: FULHAM 1-1 SPURS
BATTLE TO WATCH
JOACHIM ANDERSEN VS HARRY KANE
I’ve gone with a battle of arguably both teams’ best players this season as Joachim Andersen and Harry Kane go head to head at Craven Cottage on Thursday evening.
Fulham captain Andersen, has been fantastic since coming in at centre half alongside Tosin Adarabioyo. Since making his debut against West Brom on the 2nd of November, the Whites have conceded 18 goals in 20 games, a stat you wouldn’t believe as a Fulham fan judging by our start to the season. Andersen has proven he holds many strings to his bow, with his excellent passing catching the eye, giving the Danish international an assist to his name. For a loan signing to have the captain’s armband is rare, however Fulham’s number 5 has all the traits and qualities to be the skipper, while also showing an unbelievable passion for the Whites to stay in the Premier League beyond the 20/21 season.
England captain Harry Kane is the consistent goalscorer every club dreams of having in their ranks. The Spurs number 10 has scored 14 goals in 23 league appearances this season, whilst also grabbing 11 assists. Since becoming a Tottenham mainstay in the 2014/15 season, Kane has proven to be a prolific finisher. At 27 years old, and with 154 Premier League goals to his name already, you would think the striker is on course to smash Alan Shearer’s record as the all-time Premier League top goalscorer. His intangible qualities, and sheer unpredictability make him a difficult opponent for any defender, and there’s no doubt Andersen will have his work cut out to stop Kane getting another goal against us this season.
It will be an interesting battle between both players at the Cottage, and Kane’s creativity as well as finishing mean it’s going to be a tough ask for the Fulham captain to stop the Spurs striker, but fans know how good Andersen is, and will have faith in him to do the job once again on Thursday.
LAST TIME OUT
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 1-1 FULHAM (13/01/21)
Fulham’s first league game since Boxing Day came away in North London, after a Coronavirus outbreak at the club meant a 19 day break from Premier League action. With the Whites being given just two days’ notice to fulfil this fixture after Spurs’ game at Aston Villa was postponed, Fulham showed no sign of a lack of preparation, putting in a fantastic performance.
Spurs took the lead in the 25th minute as Harry Kane headed in Sergio Reguillon’s pinpoint cross. It was probably a deserved lead for the hosts at this point of the game, as they’d been showing signs of breaking the deadlock, with Alphonse Areola keeping Fulham level with a number of brilliant saves. The host’s chances carried over into the second half, with Moussa Sissoko bursting through the Fulham defence, only to be denied by the consistent Tosin Adarabioyo.
The Whites had the task of breaking down the Spurs barricade in order to get anything from the game. Ademola Lookman’s introduction showed attacking intent from the visitors, as we shifted from a back 5 to a back 4, and with extra pace on the wing, the change soon proved to be a great one, with Lookman putting in a delightful cross for Ivan Cavaleiro to nod home and equalise for Fulham. It was nearly a devastating defeat after Sergio Reguillon had the ball in the net late on, only for the goal to be ruled out for offside.
Overall, it was a spirited second half from the Cottagers, and a draw was the least we deserved from the game. The performance was something to build on, and signalled a turn in belief for a lot of fans as the result showed that we can be competitive in the Premier League.
PLAYERS IN COMMON
FULHAM APPEARANCES: 412
SPURS APPEARANCES: 374
Darren Bent, Dimitar Berbatov, Michael Brown, David Button, Simon Davies, Sean Davis, Mousa Dembele, Clint Dempsey, Terry Dyson, Ray Evans, Ryan Fredericks, Eidur Gudjohnsen, Cliff Jones, Kasey Keller, Stephen Kelly, Paul Konchesky, John Lacy, Steed Malbranque, Alan Mullery, Danny Murphy, Jamie O’Hara, Josh Onomah, Frank Osborne, Tony Parks, Scott Parker, Wayne Routledge, Louis Saha, Adel Taarabt, Bobby Zamora.