Opposition Focus: Crystal Palace


30/01/18 – Southampton 1-1 C Palace
27/01/18 – C Palace 2-0 Spurs (FA Cup)
19/01/18 – Liverpool 4-3 C Palace
12/01/18 – C Palace 1-2 Watford
05/01/18 – C Palace 1-0 Grimsby (FA Cup)


As I’m sure we all remember during our time with Roy the 4-4-2 formation has been an almost constant for Palace so far during his tenure, although they have deviated to a 4-3-3 in recent matches. The obvious lack of a goal scoring striker will be exacerbated by the absence of the key man Wilfred Zaha after an equal parts hilarious and stupid sending off against Southampton on Wednesday night. However, the late deadline day arrival of Batshuayi on loan from Chelsea will soften the blow and we wait anxiously to see whether the Belgian international is thrown straight into the mix on Saturday. After our initial relief at Zaha’s suspension, the inevitable fear of the loanee scoring on his debut just about sums up Fulham’s season. As with the first game of the season, the influence of the fullbacks Wan-Bissaka and Van Aanholt will be crucial in supplementing their attacking play. The battle of the central midfield will be perhaps the most intriguing as McArthur, Kouyate and Milivojevic go up against the less physical but more skilful set of TC, Seri and Chambers.

Battle to Watch

Luka Milivojevic v Tom Cairney: Working on the assumption that TC finally gets given the chance to start after his immense impact off the bench against Brighton, then his start could be key in determining the impact of the game on Saturday. His battle against the Serbian Luka Milivojevic will be interesting to watch as a battle of skill and physicality. Reducing Milivojevic to a pure physical appearance may be a bit harsh but if TC can manipulate the ball as well as he did on Tuesday in tandem with Seri – then the chance for a first away win of the season will dramatically increase.

Danger Man

Potentially not the most obvious selection but the influence of Van Aanholt at left-back has been massively significant for Palace in their fight for survival in the last two seasons. Defensively improved from his spell at Sunderland, the Dutchman’s natural ability to raid down the left side of the pitch will be a test for Christie at right-back. Without Zaha cutting inside to create the space for him his impact could be diminished but still, the threat will still be there.

Last 5 Meetings

11/08/18 – Fulham 0-2 C Palace (PL)
11/05/14 – Fulham 2-2 C Palace (PL)
21/10/13 – C Palace 1-4 Fulham (PL)
01/01/05 – Fulham 3-1 C Palace (PL)
04/10/04 – C Palace 2-0 Fulham (PL)


Fulham wins 17
Draws 15
Crystal Palace 12

Stats & Facts

  • Saturday’s fixture will be the 45th meeting between the clubs in all competitions – Wimbledon and QPR are the only current London league clubs that Fulham have played less than Crystal Palace.
  • Crystal Palace won the opening game of this season – 2-0 at Craven Cottage back in August – but haven’t completed a league double over Fulham since the 1929/30 season.
  • In fact, Fulham have not lost two consecutive games against Palace since 1974. The 3-1 defeat at the Cottage followed a 3-2 loss at Selhurst Park five years earlier in April 1969.
  • Fulham have lost only one of their last 11 trips to Selhurst Park, winning five and drawing five in the process.
  • Fulham’s last trip to Selhurst Park in October 2013 resulted in a 4-1 Premier League win and provided the setting for Pajtim Kasami’s incredible goal. However, the Whites would end the season eight places below the Eagles in 19th place and relegated.
  • Fulham have lost all seven London derbies in the Premier League this season – the most by any club in the capital since QPR lost eight during the 2014-15 campaign.

Players in Common

Jimmy Allen, Johnny Byrne, Chris Coleman, Stan Collymore,  Kagisho Dikgacoi, Iain Dowie, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Tony Gale, Julian Gray, Brede Hangeland, Jeff Hopkins, Ray Houghton, Mark Hudson, Andy Johnson, Gabor Kiraly, Shefqi Kuqi, John Lacy, Matthew Lawrence, Chris Martin, Pat O’Connell, Terry Phelan, Jazz Richards, Wayne Routledge, Rui Fonte, John Salako, Tony Sealy, Kit Symons, Paul Trollope.

Magic Moment

I think we all imagine a magic moment to be something special, something unique, something jaw-dropping that you appreciate instantly is unlike anything you’ve ever witnessed before. Well then, take a bow Mr Kasami! A goal that appeared impossible to execute and when you consider that it was with his weaker foot, it really does take your breath away. There’s no need to describe the goal because every Fulham fan has seen this over and over on repeat, bursting with pride that a Fulham player had scored the best goal in Premier League history. Let’s hope for more of the same this weekend! I still don’t know how he did it… amazing!

Match Prediction

Considering no one inside the Cottage would have thought we’d have come back against Brighton I’m not convinced about the merit of trying to predict the result for this game but it has to be done. The absence of their key player tilts it in our favour but to place us as favourites in an away game seems like madness. Even still, I’m going with – and praying for – a 2-1 win for the Whites.

Predicted Line-up