It’s a new season and a new manager in charge at Craven Cottage this season as Marco Silva returns to English football with Fulham.
With Scott Parker departing the Cottagers for pastures new, the Khan family hunted down a manager who will play attacking football and hopefully get Fulham back to the Premier League at the first time of asking, and Silva has been tasked with that responsibility.
It will be no easy start for the Portuguese man though as Middlesbrough and Neil Warnock are the first visitors to west London this Sunday.
Boro will probably be coming to stifle Fulham’s attacking talents, but it isn’t just on the pitch where they’re rivals with the two clubs locked in a battle in recent weeks for Brazilian striker Rodrigo Muniz.
Quiz: Can you remember the score from Fulham’s last 15 opening day matches?
Warnock conceded defeat in that race today with Fulham set to bring the 20-year-old to London, but even though Silva’s men may have won that battle, EFL pundit David Prutton cannot split the two teams on the pitch this weekend with a 1-1 draw predicted.
“Fulham are back in the Championship and once again right among the favourites to return to the Premier League again with Marco Silva at the helm,” Prutton wrote on his Sky Sports prediction blog.
“With Aleksandar Mitrovic up front in this league you have to fancy them.
“It has been a summer of shrewd business from Middlesbrough, and Neil Warnock would not still be there at this stage of his career if he didn’t fancy them for promotion.
“With him in charge they are contenders. I’ll back a draw here.”
When Warnock’s Boro side go to a strong attacking outfit away from home, you know what you’re going to get from them – a lot of men behind the ball and to hit them on the counter attack.
The only issue here is that with no senior left-wing-back option to choose from, Boro could be exploited down that side, with Fulham having the likes of Kenny Tete and Bobby Decordova-Reid who could cause damage in that area.
Middlesbrough do look relatively strong in other areas of the pitch though but Fulham will be looking to impress from the get-go in-front of their fans – and of course they have Aleksandar Mitrovic fit and raring to go and he has a ridiculous record in the Championship.
I can only see this going one way and that’s a comfortable home victory.