Two proud Welshmen unable to shake hands at the end of our Stoke triumph, plus the lingering resentment from Danny's criticism of Stoke's play after Dembele got whacked, makes for an intriguing encounter this week at the Cottage.
One of the Prem's least gracious figures, sore loser Pulis will be burning up to see his side make Fulham suffer in front of their own fans, and repeat their success here in West London at the back end of last season. Stoke have come on a bundle in two seasons, sitting a highly respectable 8th - with 30 points already they've banished any fears of the drop - unlike Fulham. Like him or loathe him, the records suggest Pulis has proved to be one of football's most effective managers over recent seasons.
Clubs know what to expect from a Stoke team, who rarely give you an easy game. To credit the players, the game at the Britannia never boiled over, despite the ill feeling from the terraces. Baird's double knocked the stuffing from them early on and Stoke fell flat having to come from behind against our well organised defence. Even Pulis admitted his front men had been very ordinary on the day. Will we be so lucky again?
Coming two days after the dismal West Ham loss, those three points at the Britannia may well have kept Hughes in a job - defeat would have spelt 3 straight losses for the Whites ahead of the WBA home game - and was a result I never saw coming. Although we have climbed out of the relegation positions, no one in their right mind would suggest we have turned a corner.
As with the result at Upton Park in the autumn, I'm still needled by the inability to beat Wigan last week. Away opportunities like that between now and May will be scarce.
So our on-going precarious league position means another week without action in the transfer market only adds to fans apprehension and uncertainty. By the time this goes up, we could well have added a couple of players, currently there's nothing to report but rumours and wild conjecture. It does seem however the board are taking a cautious approach with any cash they can spare. It all leads me to suggest we want loan deals primarily, and the crazy wages linked to the bigger names will rule most out of the equation, as with SWP (?). I'm not a fan.
The window still has 10 days to run. As I've already posted, another win over Stoke will influence the board to feel they can cope with what they have on the books, and Bobby now just 14 days away from fitness. It remains to my mind a massive game of brinkmanship, and begs the question - if Zamo comes back firing blanks, or heaven forbid quickly picks up a knock, we are back to square one.
And square one Mr. Hughes has been screaming at you since September, not good enough!
To end on a positive note, with a strong referee Saturday's game could well be full of incident. So worth getting along if you have been wavering as tickets are available. And keeper Stockdale is yet to be on a losing Fulham side this season. Hope Gera comes off the bench and heads the winner, he's too valuable to let go.
We want that double to really stick it to Pulis, so COYW!