Can Fulham Bounce Straight Back to the Premier League?

Championship Play-Off Final 2019/2020: Brentford v Fulham - tactical analysis tactics

After a disappointing end to the 2019/20 Premier League Season, Fulham were relegated to the Championship for the third time in eight seasons. After parting ways with their old manager Scott Parker, they have embraced a new chapter under Marco Silva and are looking for an immediate return to the Premier League. The question is, will they be able to clinch promotion this season at the first time of asking?

How has the season started?

It’s been somewhat of an explosive start by the Cottagers, with goals flying in from the off. with an average of nearly three goals per game, Fulham have the best attacking record in the division. According to the latest English Championship betting odds, Fulham are favourites to win the league at a price of 4/5, which is mainly down to the electric start they have had. However, they haven’t been completely unbeatable and have fallen to defeats against Blackpool, Reading, and took a heavy loss against Coventry City. Even with the defeats, Fulham are still favourites to win promotion by any means, and according to the latest English Championship tips are a price of 1/9.

Who are the key players?

One of the main reasons for the prolific start by Fulham has been because of the form of Alexander Mitrovic, who hit an impressive 20 goals in his first 17 games of the season. The form of Mitrovic doesn’t come as much of a surprise, as he’s been scoring goals for fun in the Championship for years. However, his consistency has been much improved, which is likely thanks to the other attacking players around him such as Harry Wilson and Bobby Reid.

The consistency of Fulham’s defence has also been a significant reason for their excellent start to the season. Leading by example, captain Tim Reem has been a solid performer at centre back in a defence that has kept seven clean sheets in the opening 17 games of the season.

Can Fulham’s excellent form continue?

The big question will be whether Fulham can sustain the momentum over the course of the entire season. The biggest test they are likely to face will be when they come up against the current league leaders, Bournemouth, in game week 21. Bournemouth are currently managed by ex-Fulham boss Scott Parker, so that fixture will have a lot riding on it. Fulham’s next toughest challenge could be the reverse fixture against West Brom, who currently sit in 3rd place. However, after comfortably winning the home fixture against the Baggies 3-0, Fulham will likely be in good spirits when that game comes around.

It’s often said that there are no easy games in the Championship, so it can be difficult to pick out exactly which fixtures will likely be the toughest. In addition to the other teams competing at the top, local derbies can often prove a challenge, so Fulham will have to be at their fighting best against London neighbours QPR and Millwall.

Fulham have proven many times before that they are capable of getting out of this division, but it hasn’t always been a case of an instant return to the Premier League after being relegated. There’s good reason to feel confident this season if you’re a Fulham fan, but there’s still a long way to go!