Premier League 2012/13 Team Preview – Fulham

Welcome to IntoTheTopCorner’s team-by-team preview to the new Barclays Premier League season. Here we look at Fulham’s vital stats, their summer transfers and analyse their chances.

Manager: Martin Jol.
Captain: TBD
Stadium: Craven Cottage (25,700).
Last season: 9th.
Leading scorer (PL): Clint Dempsey (17).
Odds: Title 1500-1. Relegation 7-1.

In: Mladen Petric (Free, Hamburg), Sascha Riether (Loan, FC Koln), Hugo Rodallega (Free, Wigan), George Williams (Undisc., MK Dons).

Out: Dickson Etuhu (£1.6m, Blackburn), Marcel Gecov (Undisc., Gent), Zdenek Grygera (Released), Andrew Johnson (Free, QPR), Danny Murphy (Free, Blackburn), Bjorn Helge Riise (Free, Lillestrom), Orlando Sa (Released).

Kits

Key Man – Clint Dempsey
Dempsey has been linked with a move away from Craven Cottage all summer but nothing has yet materialised. With the American, who contract is set to expire next summer, expected to start the campaign with west London club, he will be one of the key men for the Cottagers this season. Dempsey’s goal record in the Premier League is truly impressive and if he ends up staying at Craven Cottage, the club will need more of the same this season to finish in the top half.

Opening Fixtures
18-Aug – Norwich (H)
25-Aug – Man Utd (A)
01-Sep – West Ham (A)
15-Sep – West Brom (H)
22-Sep – Wigan (A)
29-Sep – Man City (H)

Probable Formation (4-4-1-1): Schwarzer; Riether, Hughes, Hangeland, Riise; Duff, Ruiz, Diarra, Dempsey; Dembele; Petric.

Verdit: After a slugglish start following their involvement in the Europa League, Jol’s side settled into form and should again be looking to finish in the top half of the table. Mladen Petric has looked a good bargain after his displays in the pre-season, but a lot rides on whether the club can keep hold of the American star Clint Dempsey. The former Spurs boss has allowed key players like Bobby Zamora, Andy Johnson and Danny Murphy to leave and it will be very interesting to see how he builds a new attacking spine to the team. I don’t expect anything out of the ordinary from the west London club and may just miss out on a top 10 finish this season.

Prediction: 11th.

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