Praise the footballing Gods! Domestic football is back after a pretty gruelling international break (*cough* England *cough*) and Gods favoured species are able to once again witness their football team give their all for 90 minutes (All apart from Villa).
The Blues return in the capital where Fulham are the next opponent. The difficulty with a team as glorious as ours, is that no matter how poor or great we enter the international break, you just never know how Blues are going to re-start. After a very convincing 3-0 victory over one of the league’s elite; any neutral would expect Blues to pick up where the left off with another convincing win over Fulham.
So after beginning the 2016/17 season with a very convincing 3 wins and 2 draws, Fulham currently sit at second, being the only unbeaten side along with high flyers Huddersfield. Many neutrals and even fans of Fulham had predicted a pretty glum start to the new season; something we’ve witnessed from Blackburn Rovers. With former Blues starlet Sone Aluko and big money signing, Chris Martin; Fulham appear to be one of the leagues surprise packages, demonstrating the beauty of England’s second tier! When the ball is kicked off at Craven Cottage, Blues will probably be facing a side which has found it very easy to adjust under former Watford boss, Slaviša Jokanović (quite the mouthful). From what I’ve seen; Fulham are a side whom tend to play based upon their opponent’s tactics, and looking back on our impressive 5-2, counter-attacking, victory; I expect Fulham to play a very physical, packed side, prepared to instantly eliminate Blues’ main asset.
With this being said, I expect a slight tactical change from the Norwich game which instantly altered the fans views on Gary Rowett. With Jacques Maghoma, David Cotterill and Clayton Donaldson all out due to international duty, I expect a side which many fans have long been calling for. There are 2 ways which Rowett can setup his side for the opening minutes: option 1 involves returning to Rowett’s famous 4-2-3-1, with Fabbrini returning to the starting 11 behind a solo striking Che Adams, or Gary could surprise Fulham by sticking with the 4-4-2 and starting new boy Lukas Jutkiewicz up top with the £2 million man. Regardless of the formation, the winger positions will more than likely be graced with a first start for new boy Greg Stewart as well as Viv Solomon-otabor starting at the place where he scored his first competitive Blues goal.
What the travelling 3000+ Blues fans can expect is a pretty attacking side, the wingers are very direct and prefer to cut in onto their favoured positions whilst Che Adams and Fabbrini both pose a very technical threat the Fulhams core. Jutkiewicz is an unknown talent to both clubs so his game could be a very interesting one to watch. Regardless, I believe that Blues will continue the streak of leaving Craven Cottage with 3 points and a hefty amount of goals.
My prediction: 3-1 Blues. Keep Right On!