NORWICH CITY: Welcome back the friendly folk from East Anglia. Last time we saw them in 2005 we were hammering six bells out of the Canaries. It will be no different this time around. Solid home support will see them pick up points at Carrow Road – they may even be just above the relegation zone at Christmas. By March this bird will be well and truly plucked! Have failed to draft in any quality and face a daunting last six games. A certain six points for Jol’s team and a pleasant away trip for the fans – who all ride smugly back on the train thankful they don’t live in this rural backwater.
If Norwich were a novel: Cold Comfort Farm
Headlines unknown in local press: ‘Canaries sign £5 million pound man’
Home to Fulham Dec 31 @Fulham Mar 31
QPR: Will the Champions from L1 hold their own among the elite? Are you kidding!
There’s a real power struggle going on behind the scenes and the manager’s not the most level-headed in the league. Club could internally combust mid-autumn, or if Mittal gains total control, they could well spend their way out of danger come January. Two things pre kick-off are obvious. The team assembled is not good enough by some margin. Their ground is awful. Only one of those can change. Bernie Ecclestone enjoys games at Loftus Road however. At four foot eleven in height he’s the only man in his plastic seat with adequate leg room. Pain for the fans also comes with two nailed on wins for the Whites
If QPR were a TV programme: Only Fools and Horses
Manager this season most likely to cry ‘Cheat’: Neil Warnock
@Fulham Oct 01 Home to Fulham Feb 25
STOKE CITY: An ugly side which got above itself last season with a run to Wembley and a strong first half of the season. Fulham took the wind out of their sails however, doing the double and exacting revenge for defeat in the Carling Cup tie that saw Dembele stretchered off. Pulis is leaving it late to deal in the market, though some big names are being bandied about. They could play Mother Theresa with Myleene Klass up front while feeding Sudan for all I care and I’d still hate ‘em. Going backwards this time around as the fans turn on Pulis and an anonymous Kenwyne Jones. Goals a problem.
Stoke City on celluloid: The Wild Bunch
If Stoke were a wedding present they’d be: A home brewing kit
Home to Fulham Oct 15 @Fulham Feb 11
SUNDERLAND: Super stadium, slightly fickle fans, sh*te manager. Another side like Stoke who served up a false dawn to their supporters to New Year, then ended up in relegation trouble. Awful when we breezed to victory up there in spring. Four points from them last year, same again this. Bruce has been spending big time, but is not the manager to take the Black Cats on. I always enjoy watching Gyan though. Have overpaid on Wickham and isn’t it often the case, away from Old Trafford ex-United players can sometimes appear, well…ordinary. Can Bruce get so many new faces to gel? No. See the Mackem turn sour – some of them up there are dreaming of top 5!
Sunderland as a play: Les Miserables
Asamoah Gyan wants to be: MC Hammer
Home to Fulham Nov 19 @Fulham May 05
SWANSEA CITY: After 20 years the Welsh have a team in the top flight. Swansea got up playing an exciting brand of pacy, attacking football on the deck. They are my tip to be the surprise package this time around. Like Blackpool, they will be adventurous and entertaining, backed by passionate home support ‘living the dream.’ And like Blackpool unless they stiffen their defence in January they may ultimately slip back through the trapdoor come May. I wish them well and look forward to seeing them. I have a feeling they may just do enough to last another year. Beware those travelling down don’t get caught on the wrong side of town – can be a bit Neanderthal in the valleys.
If Swansea were a touring band they’d be: Motley Crue
As a drink: Pint of Snakebite
Home to Fulham Dec 10 @Fulham Mar 17
TOTTENHAM: Stuffing them in the Cup was the highlight of last season. Now let’s do it to them in the league. Bunch of over-rated prima donnas weighed down every season by ridiculous expectations from the most boorish set of fans in London and past glories. Have been shamelessly favoured by referees in derby games with us for as long as I can remember. Anyone else recall Boxing Day 2007 when managerless Fulham slipped to a very unjust 5-1 defeat at the Lane…Martin will be busting a gut to get something from the two meetings with this mob – there’s nothing like a man on a mission. Actually just scoring a goal at WHL would be nice. Who have they got in their ranks now anyway? Who cares, let’s get after that cockerel and wring his flippin’ neck!
Little known facts: Did you know Gareth Bale had a brief career in showbusiness as a Thunderbirds puppet?
Spurs on film: Fiddler On The Roof
@Fulham Nov 6 Home to Fulham May 13
WBA: It’s the boys from the Black Country innit? Every FFC fan’s second team as long as Roy remains at the helm. And we’ll all be keeping an eye on Zollie’s progress. Points shared last year though we are clearly a better side than the Baggies. I am looking for the double this time around and can’t recall West Brom ever winning at the Cottage going right back to the 60’s. Roy’s side is a carbon copy of where Fulham were in 2008. He pulled off the great escape, has invested wisely over the summer, and I reckon they’ll be comfortably mid-table. Could even finish as the Midlands top side. I’ll be annoyed if Long bags a hatful of goals – having recommended the Irish striker to Hughes last winter.
Before we big ‘em up too much, let us be honest – aren’t you glad you don’t live in West Bromwich?
Roy Hodgson as a biblical figure: Moses
If WBA were a band they’d be: Showaddywaddy
Home to Fulham Sept 24 @Fulham Feb 01
WIGAN: Can count themselves very lucky not to be playing a division lower. Have much to thank Martinez for, amazing he chose to stay loyal to the Latics. That alone gives them a fighting chance of beating the drop again – but I think this is the year they slip through the net. The squad is wafer thin. If they allow Rodallega to go in this window they have no chance, having not replaced N’Zogbia. We’ll be adding to Wigan’s woes by taking six points off them. Sad to see them go, but they rarely sell out home games and simply can’t generate the revenue to stay afloat. Can’t believe we’ve so often gone north for this fixture and found it a struggle…nice enough town for a decent beer and a wander though.
On the big screen Roberto Martinez is: Don Quixote
His donkey: Anyone of half a dozen first-teamers. Take your pick
Home to Fulham Oct 29 @Fulham Apr 21
WOLVES: Another side who will flirt with relegation. May just find enough home points to make safety, but they won’t pull up any trees. Not sure about the manager either, though genial enough with the press. Good home support gives the side a lift, but let’s be frank, the football is primitive. Mick’s done his dough on midfielders and brought in Swansea’s keeper to keep Hennessey on his toes. He needs to add at least one quality striker 'cos his side don't score goals. Any breaking of Fulham legs this season will see the city of Wolverhampton nuked from the face of the earth. We should find something positive to end on…no easy task with this industrial outfit. Oh hang on, Robert Plant is a big fan! Well squeeze my lemon, till the juice runs…you know the rest
Wolves on the big screen: Silence of the Lambs
Mick McCarthy is: Hannibal Lecter
Home to Fulham Aug 21 @Fulham Mar 03
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