Going into this match, Fulham have all the motivation they need to cause an upset against their London rivals. For one it is a local derby match, secondly they are fighting relegation and thirdly Fulham have a high contingency of former Tottenham rejects. Scott Parker was released after one season with Villas Boas; Adel Taraabt was the bad boy that was deemed too much of an headache to deal with; Darren Bent serves as a black mark against Harry Redknapp, the now QPR boss famously goaded the striker for saying his wife could have finished the chance Bent missed against Portsmouth; Bryan Ruiz harbours something against Spurs after they would not pay him enough money, 'forcing' him to settle at Craven Cottage; finally, let us not forget Dmitar Berbatov - albeit he is the one guy Tottenham actually wanted to keep.
It would have been even more entertaining to see Martin Jol face his former employers after they departed in acrimonious circumstances, alas it was not meant to be. Still, with René Meulensteen now in charge, Fulham will want to impress the new boss in front of an expectant home crowd.
However, he has a tough job on his hands to get Fulham performing. On paper they are a talented team, but they do not work hard enough, even worse they have always never worked hard enough. This is something that can be squared directly at Berbatov, Bent, Taarabt, Kacaniklic and Ruiz - all technical players who expect someone to do the leg work for them. This is not a problem when the team is able to keep the ball for long periods and dictate play, and in fact Fulham have not been too shabby at that at home, their pass success rate sticking out in particular.
- They are creating very little chances inside the box (screenshot two), meaning they are vulnerable to counters
- Due to the lack of work-rate from the forwards, Sidwell and Parker are swamped (screenshot three and four)
What could work in Fulham's favour is Tottenham have been seriously slow at build up steam when it comes to counter attacks. If Tottenham stay true to what is fast becoming their stereotype, Fulham may be able to regroup quick enough to negate a large amount of Tottenham's offense.
Fulham 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur