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Fulham

Fulham vs Tottenham: Match preview, likely line-ups and score prediction

Jake Jackman

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This tie has gone under the radar, but it will be great for the neutral as stuttering Tottenham make the short trip to face free-scoring Fulham. Mauricio Pochettino’s side desperately need to return to winning ways and start rebuilding momentum after back-to-back defeats, while the Championship side will be licking their lips at the opportunity to test themselves against one of the top six sides in the country. It should be a great spectacle with lots of goals and it is imperative that Tottenham avoid defeat, at the very least.

Fulham have been one of the best sides to watch in the Championship this season, with the attack scoring 52 times in 31 matches. Only two sides have hit the back of the net more often than the West London side and that underlines the attacking threat that they will pose Tottenham. They play their best football at Craven Cottage and it will take a brave person to back against them this weekend, especially given Tottenham’s recent struggles. Their main aim will be qualifying for the play-offs, but they will be eager to show what they can do against top flight opposition.

Tottenham’s main focus will be the Premier League as the race to finish in the top four is heating up, but they should take the FA Cup seriously. It represents a good opportunity to win silverware and that would do wonders for the confidence of this team. They currently lack the arrogance that the very best sides possess and that is something that they need to work on if they are going to become serious players under Mauricio Pochettino.

Recent form

Fulham have been consistently inconsistent this season and that is why they are currently outside of the play-off positions, despite being one of the most entertaining sides in the Championship. That said, they have won three of their last four league matches and there are reasons for supporters to believe that they can climb into the top six before the end of the season.

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Tottenham had been seen as the main contenders to Chelsea, but they have lost twice in the last week and the wheels are threatening to come off ahead of a crucial period of the season. Their defeat to Liverpool was disappointing, but they followed that up with another defeat to Gent in the Europa League. They would have been expecting to beat the Belgian club and it is crucial that they don’t make it three losses in a row.

Predicted line-ups

Don’t expect many changes to be made to the Fulham team. Scott Malone could be preferred to Ryan Sessegnon to provide more experience at the back. Chris Martin is another player that could come in the starting eleven.

Meanwhile, Mauricio Pochettinois likely to make several changes to the side that lost to Gent, as it is crucial to rotate the squad with the games coming quick and fast. Vincent Janssen could be given an opportunity to start after being left out of the match-day squad on Thursday.

Fulham                                                         Tottenham

Injuries/suspensions

Ryan Fredericks is the only confirmed absentee for Fulham for this FA Cup tie as he remains suspended. Ragnar Sigurdsson is a doubt after being taken off against Wigan with a knock. The rest of the squad are fit and pushing to be involved against their more illustrious opposition.

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Jan Vertonghen could be ready to make his return after some time out with an ankle injury. Danny Rose and Erik Lamela won’t be available, with both still on the treatment table. Harry Kane is a doubt after picking up a knock in Belgium.

Verdict

It will be a difficult match for Tottenham, especially given they are coming into the match after back-to-back defeats. Fulham are a good team and have players to cause their London opposition problems. Expect goals at both ends, but the return of Jan Vertonghen will help massively if he does start this weekend as expected. Tottenham should have enough to progress in this tie, but they could be forced to a replay.

Score prediction: Fulham 2-2 Tottenham

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Jake is a student based in the South East. He is a Newcastle fan and has a keen interest in Dutch football. Jake can be found on Twitter here - @jakejackmann.

Championship

Fulham fans would hate it, but Chelsea should chase Slavisa Jokanovic and Ryan Sessegnon

Chelsea may need a new manager in the summer and Fulham offer a perfect solution.

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Fulham are flying this season yet again. For the second season in a row Slavisa Jokanovic is leading the club to a promotion push and Cottagers fans will no doubt be hoping the Serbian can take them all the way this time.

He is a massively important part of the reason why Fulham find themselves where they are right now, but so is left-sided phenomenon Ryan Sessegnon. The Championship star has most of Europe tracking his progress as he continues to exceed expectations at such a young age in the Championship.

Fulham are flying and excitement is high at Craven Cottage.

But, success attracts attention and plenty of teams have been linked with Sessegnon. Jokanovic, however, is also a name that is being linked with other clubs.

Fulham’s West London rivals Chelsea are looking likely to need a new manager this season. The general consensus is that Antonio Conte will be on his way out of Stamford Bridge this summer and whilst plenty of names are being linked with the job, a surprise option appears to be the Fulham boss.

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Back in March, his name emerged as a surprise candidate for the position, as reported by the Daily Mail.

Whilst he has no managerial credentials in the Premier League he still has fantastic form as a head coach.

After leading Partizan Belgrade to back-to-back promotions he guided Muangthong United to an undefeated season and the Thai Premier League title.

Short-lived spells at Levski Sofia and Hercules followed before getting Watford promoted to the Premier League in 2015.

Before Fulham lured him back to England, the Serbian had guided Maccabi Tel-Aviv to the Champions League group stage, by knocking out perennial entrants FC Basel.

Jokanovic is rightly a highly rated manager. Chelsea would be making a smart move by bringing him in this summer. Of course, he is also a former player, although there are few highlights of his time at Stamford Bridge.

(28 Oct 2001: Slavisa Jokanovic of Chelsea gets away from Darryl Powell of Derby during the match between Derby County and Chelsea in the FA Barclaycard Premiership at Pride Park, Derby. Mandatory Credit: Mark Thompson/ALLSPORT

Bringing in Jokanovic could also give Chelsea the upper-hand in any fight to sign Sessegnon this summer.

The Blues are just one of many teams to have been linked with the young talent this summer. If Jokanovic was present at Stamford Bridge, they would have a massive advantage in the hunt for the impressive teenager.

Fulham fans would, of course, hate to see their excellent manager and young starlet head to their biggest rivals, but Chelsea would be making a smart move by making it happen.

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Fulham

After inconsistent Fulham season, is there a place for Sheyi Ojo at Liverpool?

The 20-year-old has failed to nail down a starting role at Fulham.

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Sheyi Ojo joined Fulham on loan from Liverpool back in August amid great fanfare, expecting to build on his bright appearances at Anfield.

However, the 20-year-old has endured a frustrating season in southwest London, struggling to nail down a starting spot and dividing opinion among Fulham supporters.

After failing to set Craven Cottage on fire, it looks like a return to Anfield is highly unlikely next season.

Ojo has made 22 appearances for the Whites this season, but has scored just four goals and produced two assists – disappointing returns for a player who has made eight Premier League appearances for Liverpool.

The England U21 international enjoyed a fine run of form in the latter stages of 2017, scoring all of his four goals in a one month spell from November to December.

The winger’s standout performance came in Fulham’s wild 5-4 win against Sheffield United in November, when he bagged a brilliant brace and chipped in with a wonderful assist for Ryan Sessegnon.

(Photo by Ashley Allen/Getty Images)

Unfortunately for the Liverpool loanee, he has struggled to recapture this promising play in recent months. Ojo’s time at Fulham has been characterised by poor decision making, ambitious dribbles, and erratic finishing.

His lack of end product was painfully on show in Ojo’s last appearance for the Whites, against Sheffield Wednesday. Ojo featured prominently in his hour on the pitch, but all of his shots in dangerous positions lacked any purpose or power.

He has not featured for the Whites since being taken off after 62 minutes at Hillsborough.

It seems Ojo has fallen down the pecking order for the coveted right wing position at the Cottage, with Lucas Piazon, Floyd Ayite, Neeskens Kebano, and even wingback Cyrus Christie preferred ahead of the 20-year-old.

With the current Liverpool loanee struggling to assert himself at Craven Cottage, a return to the first team fray at Anfield looks increasingly unlikely.

It seems Sheyi Ojo will have to settle for yet another Championship loan spell next season, as the youngster searches for first team football that is vital for his devlopment.

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Championship

Fulham should try and bring £11m Patrick Roberts back if promoted

Fulham are hoping to push toward Premier League promotion after another brilliant season.

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For the second season in a row, Fulham are having an outstanding campaign under the management of Slavisa Jokanovic. The Serbian is leading them to the Championship play-offs but is also still firmly in the battle for automatic promotion with Cardiff City and Aston Villa.

It would be a fine reward and the culmination of a brilliant season for Fulham if they could indeed secure a place back in the Premier League.

If they did manage to do just that, the Cottagers should start looking at bringing one of their former talents back to the club.

(Photo credit should read EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

Fulham have developed some great young talent in recent years as Ryan Sessegnon’s form and stature would attest to.

Another player reared at Fulham is winger Patrick Roberts. The 21-year-old emerged as one of the Championship’s top talents in the 2014-15 season. It piqued the interest of several top clubs, including Manchester City. According to The Guardian, he arrived in a deal which could eventually be worth £11 million.

But he has spent most of his time out on loan at Celtic from City. With Manchester City crowned Premier League champions at the weekend, a first-team opportunity looks incredibly unlikely next season.

Celtic are often mentioned as having an interest in signing the player permanently but, as of yet, no deal has been formalised.

(Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)

Fulham would be wise to try and bring the player back to Craven Cottage. After an initial 18-month stint at Celtic, the Bhoys wanted to sign him permanently last summer, but Pep Guardiola would not allow it. A new loan deal instead was agreed.

This time around it has not been as successful, in part due to injuries, but Fulham would surely tempt Roberts back to his home club if they were in the Premier League.

Whether it be on a loan deal or permanently a return to Fulham would be excellent for the 20-year-old.

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