Fulham, or the Cottagers, are a Premier League football club based in West London. They have just been promoted to the top league for the first time in four years after victory in the playoffs over Aston Villa at Wembley in May. Their current boss, Slavisa Jokanovic, has been in charge for two years, and the stability and philosophy he has brought to Craven Cottage, where they have played their matches since their formation in 1879, has been key to their resurgence back to the Premier League.
Fulham have never won a major trophy, though they did win the First Division title, now the Championship, before their first promotion in 2001. They reached the FA Cup final in 1975 and the Europa League final in 2010, losing to Atletico Madrid. On that run, they beat Italian giants Juventus in stunning fashion, scoring four goals at Craven Cottage after a first leg defeat in Turin. Mohamed Al-Fayed owned the club back then, and indeed when they reached the Premier League, but he sold it to American-Pakistani businessman and Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan a year before their relegation, in 2013.
Notable former players and managers include Sir Bobby Robson, who did both at the club. He began and ended his playing career, scoring 77 goals in 344 before later starting his managerial career there. Jimmy Hill also played for the club at the same time in the 1950s and early 60s. Other former England managers Kevin Keegan and Roy Hodgson also coaches at Fulham, though they both did so before they took up the post of the national team. Fulham’s all time top goalscorer is Gordon Davies, who netted 178 goals in two spells between 1978 and 1991, while Johnny Haynes is their all time highest appearance maker with 658 between 1952 and 1970.
Goalkeepers: Marcus Bettinelli, Taye Ashby-Hammond, Fabri
Defenders: Denis Odoi, Tim Ream, Marcelo Djalo, Matt Targett, Cyrus Christie, Marlon Fossey, Moritz Jens, Adetayo Edun, Steven Sessegnon, Alfie Mawson
Midfielders: Kevin McDonald, Neeskens Kebano, Tom Cairney, Jean Seri, Stefan Johansen, Matt O’Riley, Ryan Sessegnon, Jon Dagur Thornsteinsson, Tyrese Francois, Ibrahima Cisse, Andre Schürrle
Forwards: Rui Forte, Floyd Ayite, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Luca De La Torre, Mattias Kait, Aboubakar Kamara
Slavisa Jokanovic has worked miracles at Fulham in his three years in charge at Craven Cottage. He guided them to a failed playoff campaign in his second campaign, but played some fantastic football. Last term, he went one better and helped his team to the Premier League with a playoff win over Aston Villa at Wembley in May. With his passing style, the existing quality at his disposal, like Ryan Sessegnon and Tom Cairney, and ambitious additions such as Jean Seri and Andre Schürrle, the Cottagers are well placed to have a good season. Aleksandar Mitrovic, who scored 12 goals while on loan at the club in the second half of last season, has returned on a permanent deal from Newcastle United for £22million.
There is certainly great ambition at Fulham, and they can be confident of a great season. But Jokanovic will be hoping to consolidate first and build from there. They cannot afford to get too far ahead of themselves, and must focus on survival. There are big plans at Craven Cottage; Fulham have rebuilt themselves since relegation back in 2014 and they should survive. But Mitrovic must continue his form from last season after a couple of tough years at Newcastle under Rafa Benitez.
Top ten finish @ 4/1 @ Betfair
Relegation @ 15/8
Fulham +45 handicap @ 14/1