The last transfer window has added a bit of extra spice to this otherwise lesser of the London derbies. Vilified ex-Spur Berbatov now plays for Fulham. Whereas the Tottenham players Dembele and Dempsey, the later of which didn’t exactly leave in dignified circumstances, used to play for Fulham. And as I’m sure you’re aware, ex Spurs boss Martin Jol is the man in charge at Fulham.
Perhaps to be expected, the Fulham forums reveal that Dempsey will receive a mixed reception. Some will clap in appreciation of his 5 1/2 years’ service, some will boo at the way he forced a move out of the club, where as the undecided will just stay silent. Expect to hear the following song sung at some point:
On the other hand, Dembele is expected to receive applause all round. He was a good player for Fulham and they always knew the inevitability that he had the quality to move on to bigger things. They also expect him to get even better at Spurs and take another step up at some point.
As for the actual game, once all the (un)pleasantries are out of the way…
“Spurs will be a tougher test than Chelsea. Not only will Demebele’ and Dempsey come back to prove something, we’ll have to deal with Bale and a very inform Defoe.”
“Last year we battered them and got counter punched, hopefully football gods are on our side”
“Bale has the ability to destroy any team. Not only with his undoubted skills but also his cheating & diving. Defoe worries me. He is a player I have always admired. He has far too much pace for our defence. We must take the game to them from the start & expose their weakness in Gallas & Dawson.”
“I am not convinced that AVB has the team figured out, which could be good for us. Individual efforts is what has been pushing Spurs.”
“Target gallas, hes slow and old and weak. dont know why AVB starts him over dawson.”
“The backline is shaky, their midfield sputters at times. A win is not impossible.”
“A league win over them is well overdue, a decent performance at home is well overdue, some luck is overdue. Praying bale steps on his missus hair straighteners.”
Fulham Fan Predictions: Fulham win 25%, Draw 30%, Spurs Win 45%
-Tottenham have won the last five Premier League matches between the two clubs.
-Fulham have not won for six Premier League games (D4, L2).
-Fulham’s starting line-up against Chelsea had an average age of 32 years and 32 days, the oldest of any Premier League club for almost three years since Portsmouth in March 2010.
-Fulham have lost 50 of 101 London derbies in the Premier League.
-Spurs have conceded in each of their last seven Premier League matches, and kept only one clean sheet all season.
-Gareth Bale has been booked three times for simulation since the start of last season – more than any other player in the Premier League during that period.
-Tottenham have made more defensive clearances (645) than any other team in the Premier League this season.
Team News & Selection
Dembele isn’t expected to play all 90 minutes as AVB reports on his injury: “It disturbs him, he is not 100% cured. It can come back but we don’t expect it to take him out like before.”
Elsewhere Caulker has overcome illness and is fit for selection. Adebayor will complete his suspension and is unavailable for selection as well as Benny, Kaboul and Parker. The latter of which is reported to be back in action in two weeks.
Walker did well against Liverpool, so I’m happy to eat my words about him needing to be benched in my last preview. Let’s hope he can continue to improve. Caulker in for Gallas please. Other than that, it pretty much picks itself. I’m going for another 2-1 Spurs. COYS.