Two London clubs face off in the Premier League this weekend as Fulham and Crystal Palace clash at Craven Cottage on Saturday.
Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson returns to the club where he is fondly thought of, just over 10 years after guiding the Cottagers to a Europa League final.
Hodgson is the oldest boss in the Premier League at 73 years old and he’ll share the touchline with one of the top flight’s youngest in just turned 40-year-old Fulham gaffer Scott Parker.
Hodgson’s Palace head into this game in 14th position in the table although just 3 points off the Champions League places, such has been the strange start to the campaign for all.
The Eagles were pegged back last time out by rivals Brighton in the M23 Derby, with Alexis Mac Allister’s late leveller snatching a deserved point for the Seagulls.
You’d think Fulham would pose an easier test than Brighton, with the West London side currently bottom of the Premier League with just a point from their opening 5 matches – that coming last time out against Sheffield United who also occupy the relegation zone.
The Cottagers will be desperate to avoid defeat, considering they have lost their last 3 top flight home matches by an aggregate score of 0-10 – no side in Premier League history has ever lost 4 consecutive home games by three or more goals.
Premier League sides announced their 25-man squad lists for the season earlier this week, and there were notable omissions on both sides.
Scott Parker has opted to leave out club-record signing Jean Michael Seri, who cost Fulham a reported £25m just over two years ago.
Crystal Palace meanwhile have not included Connor Wickham, who once again has seen injury get the better of him.
Wickham joins Nathan Ferguson and goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey in the treatment room, with new signing Jack Butland expected to deputise for Hennessey on the Palace bench.
Jordan Ayew has tested positive for coronavirus and won’t play and James McCarthy is carrying a knock which rules him out.
Fulham have been given the all clear on Harrison Reed’s fitness, but not so for new signings Kenny Tete and Joachim Andersen.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek is expected to start for Fulham against Palace, a place where he also spent time on loan from Chelsea in 2017-18.
Fulham v Crystal Palace is a 3pm kick off on Saturday 24th September.