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Spurs Odyssey Preview - Spurs v Fulham, 18.08.18

This week - last year
What happened in the Premier League on Matchday Two 2017-18

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Full Record of Spurs -v- Fulham
Premier       Pl   W   D   L    For-Ag  Pts
Home          13   8   3   2    21 - 7   27
Away          13   5   3   5    20 -17   18
Total(Prem)   26  13   6   7    41 - 24  45
Football Lge
Home(Div 1)   11   8   3   0    28 - 13  19
Away(Div 1)   11   6   4   1    17 - 12  16
Total(Div 1)  22  14   7   1    45 - 25  35
Football Lge
Home(Div 2)   11   4   6   1    13 - 8   14
Away(Div 2)   11   4   5   2    20 - 16  13
Total(Div 2)  22   8  11   3    33 - 24  27
Total(Prem)   26  13   6   7    41 - 24  45
Total(Div 1)  22  14   7   1    45 - 25  35
Total(Div 2)  22   8  11   3    33 - 24  27
Grand Total   70  35  24  11   119 - 73 107

Last Six League results:-

Spurs      -    DWLWWW
Brighton   1-1    Spurs
Spurs      2-0    Watford
West Brom  1-0    Spurs
Spurs      1-0    Newcastle
Spurs      5-4    Leicester
Newcastle  1-2    Spurs

Fulham     -    WLLWWL

Fulham     2-1    S'derland
B'mingham  3-1    Fulham 
Derby      1-0    Fulham 
Fulham     2-0    Derby
A. Villa   0-1    Fulham 
Fulham     0-2    C. Palace

Pos          P  W  D  L   F-A   GD  Pts
 8. Spurs    1  1  0  0   2-1    1    3
18. Fulham   1  0  0  1   0-2   -2    0

More "away" games for Spurs

So now we know that tomorrow's game against Fulham will not be our last Premier League game at our temporary home of Wembley. At least two more league games (Liverpool and Cardiff), and I suspect all our Champions League group games will be played at Wembley Stadium. This is a major disappointment for Spurs fans who were asked to pay over the odds for their new season tickets, and now have to face several more incovenient trips across London where they do not experience the traditional home atmosphere. My major concern is to know when we will move to the new "Tottenham Hotspur Stadium", and to know that all is well with the structure!

When Fulham beat Aston Villa 1-0 in last season's Championship Play-Off Final it was their first visit to Wembley for 43 years. On that occasion in 1975, Fulham made their only FA Cup Final appearance losing 2-0 to West Ham. Fulham were led out by former Spurs captain Alan Mullery, and included a former England World Cup Captain Bobby Moore. Mullery also won the Footballer of the Year as voted by the Football Writers' Association that year. Fulham were a Championship side managed by the affable Alec Stock. West Ham were a bottom half Division One side, but both their goals were scored by Alan Taylor.

To reach that 1975 Final, Fulham had to play no less than 11 games (the Final was their 12th), playing a second replay against Hull in the third round, a third replay in the fourth round against Nottingham Forest, and even a replay of their semi-final against Birmingham. West Ham also needed a replay to beat Ipswich in their semi-final, but only needed one other replay on their run to Wembley.

As mentioned in last week's Newcastle preview, 1975 was a bad year for Spurs who needed late season wins against Chelsea and Leeds to survive relegation.

Now, due to the delayed opening of our new stadium, Fulham find themselves back at Wembley again, and will not have the pleasure of playing a Premier League game at "NWHL" unless they survive this season. Last week they lost against Roy Hodgson's Crystal Palace. Whilst Fulham have never won a major trophy it was Hodgson who arguably led them to their greatest glory when they reached the Europa League Final in 2010, losing only 2-1 (after extra time) to an Atletico Madrid side which included David De Gea in goal and (double goalscorer) Diego Forlan and a certain Sergio Aguero up front. Fulham's goal was scored by ex-Spur Simon Davies.

Only Chelsea and Liverpool spent more than Fulham this summer. The "Cottagers" spent more than 100 million, and are the first promoted club to invest such a sum. They made five signings on deadline day, and the lack of time before the Palace defeat no doubt influenced Slavisa Jokanovic's side ability to adjust for the first Premier League game. They have made a total of 12 signings.

Defender Le Marchand and midfielder Seri were both signed from Nice. Fabri is a 30 year old Spanish goalkeeper signed from Besiktas. He started last week and another goalkeeper signing - Sergio (on loan from Sevilla) was on the bench. Former Chelsea player Andre Schurrle has also arrived from Borussia Dortmund on loan.

Serbia's Aleksandar Mitrovic was on loan at Fulham from January and scored 12 vital goals in 17 games, and has been signed on a permanent deal from Newcastle for 22 million. Mitrovic said this week, I feel like I am home. I do not need time to settle in, I know how this club works, how the staff work, how everything works.

Defender Alfie Mawson has been signed from Swansea, but he has a knee injury and will not be fit till next month. Other loan deals included Atletico Madrid's forward Luciano Vietto, and Man Utd defender Timothy Fosu-Mensah.

Former Spur Ryan Fredericks has gone to West Ham, and Fulham's left back last season Matt Targett was a loan player who has returned to Southampton. Clearly the difference in Fulham's successful play-off final team and last week's line-up shows the level of adjustment to be made:-

Fulham's play-off final team:-

Bettinelli; Fredericks (sub Christie, 83), Odoi, Ream, Targett; Cairney, McDonald, Johansen (sub Norwood, 72), Kamara (sub Kalas, 77), Mitrovic, Sessegnon

Fulham's team v Crystal Palace last week:-

Fabrie; Christie, Chambers, Le Marchand, Bryan (sub Vietto, 71); Cairney, McDonald, Seri (sub Johansen, 82), Schurrle (sub Kamara, 61), Mitrovic, Sessegnon

Our last league meeting against Fulham was on 19th April 2014 at White Hart Lane. Spurs won 3-1 with 20 year old Harry Kane scoring in his third consecutive Premier League game in a season when he made only 10 league appearances, including 4 as substitute. Our last meeting against Fulham was a 3-0 FA Cup 5th Round win at Craven Cottage when Harry Kane scored a hat-trick.

Surely Harry will break his August (Premier League) duck tomorrow? Erik Lamela, Harry Winks and Josh Onomah are reported back in training, and therefore available, whilst we have to wait a bit longer for Victor Wanyama, Juan Foyth and Cameron Carter-Vickers to be fit for selection. Maybe Erik will replace Lucas Moura in the attacking midfield. I fancy Kieran Trippier to make his first start of the new season, and I'll take Dembele to play next to Eric Dier. Having said that, Dembele, Alderweireld and Rose are names still being linked to possible moves away before the European transfer window closes at the end of this month. I hope none of them leave.

I've gone for a 2-0 "home" win for Spurs, although I expect Fulham to make things quite difficult. Ryan Sessegnon, often linked with a move to Spurs, will be keen to make an impression. I'm hoping that Dele Alli has to come up with yet another innovative celebration!

Our match referee will be Anthony Taylor, who we have been seeing for nearly years now. He is not the most popular of officials with Spurs fans (who is?), and his last game with us was the FA Cup semi-final defeat against Man Utd in April. A happier occasion had been the 1-0 victory over Arsenal, when Harry Kane scored the decisive goal.

Spurs' record in recent London Derby matches

"It was Twenty Years ago today!" - On 22nd August 1998 we lost our second game of the season 3-0 at home to Sheffield Wednesday. Time was running out for Herr Gross!

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