Fulham news, season preview: The 2020-21 Premier League season is almost here and our season previews will give you all of the information you need to know about each of the 20 PL clubs.
[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]
This is our Fulham season preview, as you can click on the link above to find out exactly how you can watch every single Fulham game live in the USA across our platforms at NBC Sports.
[ PHOTOS: Ranking new kits for 2020-21 PL season ]
Okay, time to focus on the Cottagers…
2019-20 finish: 4th in Championship (23-12-11, 81 points) – Promoted via playoffs
Head coach: Scott Parker
2019-20 top scorer: Aleksandar Mitrovic (26 goals)
Location: West London
ProSoccerTalk’s key topic on Fulham: Continuity over cash is key this time
Fulham are the favorites to be relegated straight back to the Championship but there is probably more optimism around Craven Cottage this time around. When they were promoted two seasons ago they spent big money on big-name players and it just didn’t work. Reverting to a squad of players who have pretty much got them promoted in two of the last three seasons via the playoffs is smart, and Scott Parker has given this side more grit and focus. They still play open, attacking soccer but they are also tougher to break down and aren’t quite as flamboyant as they were in 2018-19. Expect Fulham to grind out quite a few 1-0 wins at home this season rather than the high-scoring defeats they suffered last time around in the Premier League. They spent $145 million two summers ago on new players but American owner Shahid Khan and his son Tony, who is the sporting director, will have learned from that harsh lesson. Continuity over cash is key this time around.
Fulham news: The current situation
There is a lot of positivity around the club as Parker, 39, is a young manager with incredible hunger and they now have a good mix of youth and experience in their team. Captain Tom Cairney, USMNT veteran Tim Ream and top goalscorer Aleksandar Mitrovic give them a solid core and the likes of Josh Onomah, Antonee Robinson and Harrison Reed give them more youth in the team with Ivan Cavaleiro and Bobby Reid solid attacking options. You get the feeling that if Fulham manage to stay up this season, they will become Premier League mainstays once again. Fans of Fulhamerica will rejoice, and trips to Craven Cottage are always a lot of fun down by the banks of the River Thames and the stadium renovations will be fabulous once finished.
Key Fulham news, season objectives
- Cause a few shocks early and ride the wave of positivity: Fulham have been handed a decent enough start when it comes to their opening fixtures and if they can get through to November with a few shock wins under their belt, it will give them confidence that this time around they can stay up in the Premier League. The main issue will be keeping clean sheets as their defensive unit is looking like their weak spot.
- Stay patient with Parker: Young English manager Scott Parker has proven to be an inspired hire and got Fulham promoted in his first full season as a coach. Stick with him. No matter what. If Fulham are in the relegation zone in December, they proved last time there were in the PL that chopping and changing managers doesn’t work. Give Parker a full season in charge, no matter what.
- Get service to Mitrovic: He scores goals at every level he plays at and if you whip quality crosses into the box then Mitro will be on fire for most of the Premier League season. Fulham have to stay solid defensively, then make the most of Mitrovic’s aerial ability when they get the chance to do so.
- Anthony Knockaert: $19 million from Brighton
- Antonee Robinson: $2.5 million from Wigan
- Harrison Reed: $10.5 million from Southampton
- Mario Lemina: Season-long loan from Southampton
ProSoccerTalk’s prediction for Fulham in 2020-21
Fulham will be in a relegation battle throughout this season but they can really survive if they get lucky with injuries and can improve defensively. Scott Parker is a likeable character and Fulham are a likeable club. They have to become a nasty team to play against, though, and they did that in the Championship last season. We think they will probably get relegated once again, but they will be a lot closer to staying up than they were during the 2018-19 season.