11/08/18 – Newcastle 1-2 Spurs
04/08/18 – Girona 4-1 Spurs
01/08/18 – Spurs 1-0 AC Milan
29/07/18 – Barcelona 2-2 Spurs (AET Barcelona win 5-3 on penalties)
26/07/18 – Roma 1-4 Spurs
We can be fairly confident of the Spurs formation that we’ll be lining up against on Saturday, with their standard 4-2-3-1 that they have largely stuck with since that appointment of Mauricio Pochettino. Despite them deploying a three at the back at times last season, Alderweireld dropping out of Pochettino’s plans has meant they’ve stuck pretty resolutely with a 4 of Trippier, Sanchez, Vertonghen and Davies at the back. Although Trippier and Son might be ready in time for Saturday after their World Cup exertions, the starting 11 is expected to be the same one that defeated Newcastle 2-1 at St James Park last weekend. Expect Spurs to press our defence high up the pitch when we’re in possession and play a lot higher defensive line than we faced against Palace at the Cottage. This could give the likes of Sessegnon and Schurrle some joy, especially if Sess gets the chance to go up against the defensively suspect Serge Aurier. But the key for us to have a chance of getting anything from the match will be whether our midfield can get on top and provide a bit more penetration than they did last time out.
Battle to Watch
McDonald vs Eriksen: If Fulham are able to surprise the odds and get a positive result, then stopping Christian Eriksen will be pivotal to our chances. No player will have more responsibility for doing just that than Kevin McDonald. Eriksen is the player that elevates Spurs to another level with his incredible short and long range passing ability, game intelligence, and movement between the lines, providing Kane and the other forward players with plenty of opportunities.
McDonald looked really accomplished on the ball at the weekend against Palace, but it will be an entirely different challenge for him at Wembley in trying to cut out the main source of creativity for Spurs. With Zambo Anguissa waiting in the wings for his first opportunity, it’ll be crucial for one of our top performers over the last two seasons to really demonstrate his ability to handle a genuine world-class operator.
Although Eriksen is the creative hub for Spurs, it’s obvious that Harry Kane has the ability to take the game away from us – as we’ll all remember from our last game against Spurs in the FA Cup back in January 2017. The Golden Boot winner from the World Cup tends to start the season slowly but that doesn’t mean our defence should be any less focused in trying to shut him down at every opportunity.
Last 5 Meetings
19/02/17 – Fulham 0-3 Spurs (FA Cup)
19/04/14 – Spurs 3-1 Fulham (Premier League)
04/12/13 – Fulham 1-2 Spurs (Premier League)
17/03/13 – Spurs 0-1 Fulham (Premier League)
01/12/12 – Fulham 0-3 Spurs (Premier League)
Fulham Wins 18
Spurs Wins 49
Stats & Facts
- After 15,729 days separated their first two trips to Wembley, Fulham return to the national stadium for the third time just 84 days after the Championship play-off final.
- Fulham have lost 6 of the last 7 meetings with Tottenham, and 9 of the last 11 conceding an average of two goals per game.
- The clubs last met in February 2017 when Tottenham won 3-0 at Craven Cottage in the FA Cup 5th Round. Only 2 of Fulham’s starting XI that day – Kevin McDonald and Tom Cairney – began Saturday’s defeat to Crystal Palace; 8 of the matchday squad have since left the club with substitute Scott Parker only recently returning as first team coach.
- During their previous 13-year stay in the Premier League, Fulham never once lost both of their opening two league games.
Seeing as we’re following the fixture list exactly then there aren’t too many to choose from in our away trips to Spurs. So it has to be the last time we won at White Hart Lane in 2013 under Martin Jol with a 1-0 win. A goal from Dimitar Berbatov and a series of saves from Mark Schwarzer were the standout moments of the day. While we might not be heading to White Hart Lane on Saturday, I seem to remember us doing all right at Wembley last time out.
Opposition View (@Daily_Hotspur)
Are you concerned that you didn’t sign any players during the transfer window?
Of course with Tottenham Hotspur failing to make even a single addition this summer the supporters are disappointed, but personally, the club’s lack of transfer activity doesn’t worry me. As the midfield pairing of Moussa Sissoko and Eric Dier showed against Newcastle United, a new central-midfielder was required, but otherwise, are starting line-up remains very difficult to improve upon. Comparing Spurs’ XI with the clubs from last season’s top six, we still have the second strongest line-up behind Manchester City, in my opinion, which should set us up for another top four finish, although are lack of depth will stop us from going all the way to the title. Ultimately, it is very disappointing that we failed to build upon a squad that has come within so close to claiming a trophy, but given the circumstances, it can be forgiven and we remain still well equipped to compete for the top spots in the Premier League.
What are your expectations for this season and predicted league position?
Again, with the delays in construction work to the new ground and the top-six significantly strengthening over the summer, Mauricio Pochettino and his team enter the season in far from ideal circumstances. However, the same was said last season playing 19 home fixtures at Wembley Stadium – a challenge which we passed with flying colours and this season I believe that we will again be competing for a Champions League qualifying spot. Tottenham will replicate their finish from last season and I predict us to finish in a pretty positive third placed.
How do you see the game going and score prediction?
Of course, Fulham enjoyed a very successful summer transfer window, with particularly the additions of Andre Schurrle and Jean Michael Seri proving to be the most impressive pieces of business. However, as Everton proved last term, making a large number of additions can time to adjust and I believe now is an ideal time to play Fulham with the new signings adapting to their surroundings. Meanwhile, Spurs were impressive against Newcastle last Saturday, overcoming a strong challenge from the Tyneside club. So given the contrast in fortunes on the opening day, I’m predicting a 3-1 win for Tottenham and Harry Kane to claim his first Premier League goal in August.
While this might look a daunting task, there is a genuine cause for optimism as Spurs failed to beat a number of bottom half sides at home last season in the league. With another week of preparation for the players and some promising individual performances last weekend, there’s a possibility we could achieve something on Saturday. With that in mind, I’m going for 1-1.