Preview

Town are on their travels for the second time within a week as they prepare to take on a struggling Fulham side at Craven Cottage.

Manager Chris Powell will be hoping his players can put in another strong performance following a battling defeat at Derby County midweek, a first loss in eight games. It was a strong display from the Terriers, who had seen their impressive run take them to the second highest place team in the form charts behind Eddie Howe's Bournemouth, but sadly Derby proved too strong in the middle and managed to edge a close encounter.

In the build up to this weekend's fixture Powell has recruited one of his former players on loan in Diego Poyet from West Ham. The 19-year-old may have only made his debut last season but in his 23 appearences he impressed so much he was awarded the player of the season at Charlton. Poyet made his debut for his new side West Ham against Manchester United.

Saturday will prove to be a different test entirely, against a side that has started to show  some glimpses of promise under the guidance of Kit Symons and are unbeaten in five, although Wednesday night's 2-2 draw with Blackpool at the Cottage showed that all things are still not rosy.


Likely line-up

Chris Powell has plenty of options ahead of this one. The injury to Jonathan Hogg means Lee Peltier, Poyet and Radi Majewski are pushing for a start although don't be surprised if Nahki Wells gets the nod to start alongside loanee Grant Holt in an unchanged 4-4-2 set-up.

Prediction

Fulham 1-2 Town
Throughout these previews so far on Thrice Champions I've tended to be rather negative with my predictions and gone down for the cautious of the opposition approach. However, I quite fancy Town to bounce back and I'm sure Powell will have them ready and prepared to bring home the points so I'll go for a close 2-1.


KNOW YOUR ENEMY

If you didn't know already, throughout this season, Thrice Champions will be getting the views of opposition fans, bloggers and podcasters so you know the story behind the club they know so much about.

Ahead of the clash away against Fulham we spoke to the Fulham website 'Cottage Confidential' get the low down on the opposition.

Here's what they had to say to our questions...

TC: Fulham will in 2014 be synonymous with cheese. How much is Felix Magath responsible for the clubs current position?

CC: Almost 100%. I tend to believe that only the best managers and only the very worst managers have a lot of effect on a team. Most managers are in the middle and the position is usually determined by the squad. However, Magath was an absolute crazy person. He picked lineups that made no sense and froze out talented players for personal reasons.

TC: Do you think the stability lost from your former Chairman who gave managers time is a reason that Fulham find themselves towards the bottom of the Championship?

CC: Not really. If anything, he should have been less patient with Magath. When Fulham were relegated, Magath should have been let go. However, I believe Shahid Khan didn't want to look to impatient, which is why Magath stuck around much longer than he should.

TC: From the outside Fulham's squad seem to be imbalanced with a lot of younger players and just a few experienced ones like Parker and Ruiz. Is this a reason why the club have failed to adjust to the Championship?

CC: I think the club has finally adjusted. There were enough experienced players around: Scott Parker, Bryan Ruiz, Fernando Amorebieta, Hugo Rodallega, Tim Hoogland, Ross McCormack. Even Dan Burn had played almost a full season in the Championship. The problem is that Magath had frozen most of those players out.

TC: Kit Symons seems to have turned a corner. How would you compare this season under his tenure to the games under Magath.

CC: The biggest thing that Symons has done is play the best players, and play a consistent lineup. Magath sometimes seemed to be drawing names out of a hat for positions (evidenced by trying the left footed giant of Dan Burn as a right back). Symons has quickly decided that he's going to play his best eleven and only rotate when necessary.

TC: Which Fulham player should Huddersfield fans worry about?

CC: There is a lot of talent on this Fulham side. Bryan Ruiz is one of the most talented players in the league and can do something amazing at any minute. Ross McCormack hasn't been scoring as much, but has been a creative force. Hugo Rodallega will run players under the table.

TC: Which Huddersfield player do you think Fulham fans should worry about?

CC: To be honest the only player I'm familiar with is Grant Holt.

TC: What is your prediction?

CC: Fulham should win comfortably. I think they'll score three. The question will be is if they can avoid the dumb defensive errors that have plagued them. I think they finally do. I'm expecting 3-0.


Don't forget you can still vote for Thrice Champions in the Football Blog Awards. For more information CLICK HERE

Comment