Guardian writers’ predicted place nineteenth (NB: this isn’t essentially John Brewin’s prediction however the common of our writers’ ideas)
Final season’s place 1st (Championship)
Odds to win the league (through Oddschecker) 1,000-1
Again in April, Fulham supporters invaded the pitch after promotion was secured. The celebrations had been nonetheless fairly muted, and never simply because the Cottagers followers’ genteel fame precedes them. The membership’s final two promotions to the Premier League had been adopted by fast relegation, and so ending seventeenth or larger can be considered as a powerful success.
Craven Cottage could have a unique look, the towering Riverside Stand lastly open for enterprise, although initially solely the decrease tier, because the proprietor, Shahid Khan, modernises the chintzy, beloved stadium. Excessive ticket costs to pay for the renovations have grow to be a battleground between followers and Khan.
The associated fee can climb as excessive as £100 for a single match ticket for the opener with Liverpool, asking quite a lot of followers when Marco Silva, the supervisor, has admitted the label of a “yo-yo staff” is a “good nickname”. Final season was gratifying, a breeze again up, however Silva might be with out Fabio Carvalho, offered to Liverpool, a primary provider of Aleksandar Mitrovic’s report haul of 43 Championship targets, although Harry Wilson stays.
It’s in neither Silva nor Fulham’s make-up to play proportion soccer, and that high-paying public have come to anticipate leisure. Khan will seemingly not match the ill-starred £100m of spending of the summer season of 2018, and has spoken of needing to “have a unique strategy than one of many greater golf equipment”. The hope is Silva has sufficient nous and his gamers can discover sufficient high quality to interrupt the cycle of promotion adopted by demotion.
It is just 5 years since Silva’s arrival at Hull brought on consternation within the Sky Soccer Saturday studio, and he’s set to handle his fourth Premier League membership along with his fame nonetheless very a lot combined. Every of his spells at Hull, Watford and Everton confirmed that Silva might be an progressive, organised and attacking coach, just for his staff to drop away into inconsistency. Silva himself just isn’t somebody given to backslapping the media, often selecting to maintain his personal, quiet counsel. Fulham having blasted their manner up from the Championship, their supervisor has simply as a lot to show as his membership in relation to endurance. To satisfy his ambitions, he wants to realize a fame for stability and longevity however is working below an proprietor in Khan who has by no means been shy of urgent the button.
Fulham’s summer season switch exercise has not been brisk however in signing a defensive midfielder in João Palhinha from Silva’s native Portugal, at the very least a few of their smooth underbelly could have been protected. Palhinha, as a number one gentle in a Sporting Lisbon staff that received a primary title in 19 years, has a fame as an enforcer, with the highly effective physique and traditional tactical consciousness of a Portuguese midfielder. A detailed relationship with Rúben Amorim, who had coached him on mortgage at Braga, revived his profession at Sporting. Fulham paid £18m for a participant beforehand linked with the Portuguese enclave at Wolves.
World Cup affect
With a squad not laden with gamers prone to be jetting off, the timing of the World Cup may very well be helpful in Fulham’s anticipated battle for security, although Palhinha appears set to be concerned with Portugal. Tim Ream, the veteran US defender, performed just one worldwide match final season, and will miss out on Qatar. Fulham’s pre-tournament fixtures are usually not type; they log out for the break with matches towards Manchester Metropolis and Manchester United.
Various sights throughout World Cup
Take a wintry stroll by means of Bishops Park, sip costly espresso, soak up Putney’s throbbing nightlife, together with a number of pints within the Noticed Horse, watch the rowers fly down the Thames, and numerous different bourgeois pursuits on supply within the comfy environment of SW6.
Main the shirt gross sales
In blowing away Man Whittingham’s 29-year-old Championship scoring report, Mitrovic confirmed his cult fame. Silva’s demand that he maintain match over final summer season clearly paid excessive dividends. “He didn’t have any paunch on him or something,” stated an admiring Khan, who has termed Mitro a “legend”. Like his membership, Mitrovic has the fame of being too good for the Championship but wanting Premier League high quality, although he appears to have a greater relationship with Silva than predecessor Scott Parker, with whom he fell out through the membership’s final Premier League season.
Fulham’s gamers are fairly properly behaved on the socials, however central defender Tosin Adarabioyo likes to share a little bit of himself throughout Twitter and Instagram, and is making tentative steps into TikTok. He shares bespoke paintings that resembles Nineteen Nineties rap album covers, together with the time-honoured “Parental Steerage” label and cigars, and pays common tribute to Nigerian megastar Burna Boy. There’s additionally some pointed soccer enterprise retweets, together with some NFT content material, however he additionally marks himself out as an enormous staff participant, and significantly as a fan of “Mitro” at “solely 27 years younger”.
If Fulham had been a Netflix dox …
We’d see Shahid Khan and son Tony very a lot to the fore, their NFL possession instructing them the worth of digicam time and big-boy discuss. The set items could embrace Marco Silva promising “Mitro” an additional break day if he presses tougher through the very important derby battle with Brentford, and Tim Ream recording his podcast. Count on pointless cameos from Richard Osman and Hugh Grant.