Fulham vs Norwich
England – The Championship
Date: Saturday, 5th August 2017
Kick off at 15:00 UK/16:00 CET
Venue: Craven Cottage.
One of the most interesting games of the opening round features Fulham taking on Norwich. Both teams have high hopes and it will be extremely important for both teams to start well.
Fulham were outside the top 6 most of the season but with an outstanding run in the end they managed to reach the play-offs at the expense of Leeds. The team lead by Serbian specialist Slavisa Jokanovic failed to secure place in the Premier League though. Fulham drew at home against Reading and suffered a minimal loss in the return fixture.
The team was left by some players in the summer. Richard Stearman and Scott Malone opened space in the defensive line of the team. While Stearman was not a clear starter Malone was inevitable choice. Jokanovic is hoping to fill the hole with the additions of Tomas Kalas from Chelsea and Marcelo Djalo who comes from Spanish outfit Lugo. Fulham didn’t stop here though and also brought midfielders Ibrahima Cisse from Standard de Liege and Oliver Norwood from last year runner ups Brighton along.
Still their most priced signing looks to be striker Aboubakar Kamara from Amiens. The striker scored 11 goals in 28 games for Amiens last season and also had a spell with Jupiler Liga outfit Kortrjik.
Norwich had ambitions for top 6 finish but could not live to them. The team had a good mixture from class and experience but the away form was very inconsistent to say the least. Norwich was one of the best home teams but 21 points from 23 away games and 18th place in that table ensured that they stay away from the play-offs.
The team lost a lot of key players. New manager who was unveiled in July Daniel Farke will have to cope somehow to stabilize the team. Jacob Murphy departed for Newcastle along with Johny Howson Middlesbrough. Overall over 1 complete squad departed the club. In his efforts to keep the balance Farke brought in some familiar for him faces. Marcel Franke joined from Greuther Furth. Mario Vrancic also joined from German side Darmstadt along with Borussia Dortmund second team Zimmermann.
All of them will probably need a hefty time to blend into the squad and fit into the English football which coupled along with a manager who has never managed in England makes the team vulnerable. He is former Borussia 2 team manager and we can expect his team to continue play open football at all times.
Fulham vs Norwich: Head to head
Fulham is the superior side in recent games between the sides. Cottagers have 6 victories and just 1 defeat in the last 10 meeting of those 2 teams.
Last season Fulham won 3-1 away and drew 2-2 at home against Norwich.
All 3 of the last 3 games finished with both teams scoring and over 2.5 goals.
Fulham vs Norwich: Prediction
These two sides both like to play open football and often produced very entertaining games last season. The over 2.5 goal market looks like a good opportunity to use this.
Fulham looks better prepared for the new season. Norwich will need some time to blend the new players and manager and that may cause them trouble. Although Norwich have better stats in their preseason games Fulham played against better oppositions in general. Jokanovic is familiar with these league with the better team so a home victory looks likely.