A cracking looking game takes place at Craven Cottage on Sunday afternoon as the Sky Bet Championship gets underway, with Fulham and Middlesbrough going head-to-head down by the River Thames.
Two sides that will have promotion ambitions this campaign, it’s a good opportunity for managers Marco Silva and Neil Warnock to see exactly where their sides are in relation to another potential candidate for a spot in the Premier League in 22/23.
For Silva, too, it’s a first opportunity to see just how his side is looking in a competitive setting and he’ll be eager to see if some of the work they have done in pre-season is already beginning to pay off.
In terms of team news, Fulham are already going to be without Tom Cairney in the middle of the park. The skipper is still carrying an injury from last season and is yet to shake it off, though he remains a Fulham player despite speculation written about him this summer and that alone is a positive.
Also on the treatment table carried over from last season is defender Terence Kongolo, and he’ll miss out on the opening weekend too.
In goal, we could see Paulo Gazzaniga make his competitive debut – he featured in the 1-0 friendly win over Charlton last weekend to the expense of Marek Rodak.
In front of him, the likes of Kenny Tete and Antonee Robinson could feature at full-back, with Tosin Adarabioyo, Tim Ream and Alfie Mawson all pushing for a centre-half spot.
Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa remains at Fulham, for now, and could start in midfield whilst youngsters Tyrese Francois and Fabio Carvalho are also both in contention after being used in pre-season.
Aleksandar Mitrovic is set to start up front whilst Neeskens Kebano and Anthony Knockaert are among those in the frame to start out wide.