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Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Fulham: Premier League preview and prediction 2008/9

Of the last few teams to finish seventeenth, Everton in 2004 (finished in fourth place in 2005), West Brom in 2005 (finished nineteenth a year later), Portsmouth in 2006 (finished ninth in 2007) and Wigan (finished fourteenth last season), only one declined the following season. But that may have had something to do with each (with the exception of West Brom) getting a hefty transfer budget as a result. With such a heft fee for Andy Johnson Roy Hodgson has probably staked his career in England on a good season - and he is canny enough to get Fulham safe, but the squad upheaval suggests that rapid improvement is less likely.

Whether Fulham have strengthened in the right areas is difficult to tell but Fulham have finished on average in 15th place in recent years - and sooner or later relegation will have them. But maybe not just yet.

TRANSFERS TO DATE Ins: John Pantsil (West Ham) and Bobby Zamora (West Ham), Tony Kallio (Young Boys Bern), Andranik Teymourian (Bolton), Zoltan Gera (West Brom), David Stockdale (Darlington), Mark Schwarzer (Middlesbrough), Fredrik Stoor (Rosenborg), Pascal Zuberbuhler (Neuchatel Xamax), Andrew Johnson (Everton).

Outs: Dejan Stefanovic (Norwich), Nathan Ashton (Wycombe), Elliot Omozusi (Norwich, loan), Ricardo Batista (Sporting), Tony Warner (Hull City), Carlos Bocanegra (Stade Rennais), Brian McBride (Toronto), Philippe Christanval (released), Jari Litmanen (released), Simon Elliott (released), Kasey Keller (released), Hameur Bouazza (Charlton, loan).

RECENT LEAGUE FINISHES Recent league finishes: 17-16-12-13-9 av. 15th Recent points finishes: 36-39-48-44-52 av. 44pts

SPREAD BETTING Sporting Index final position prediction: 16th Sporting Index points prediction: 39.50 - 41 points

Sporting Index suggest that Fulham will get around 40 points, which will be safe; a buy will therefore be profitable if Fulham get 42 points or more.

Example: £10 buy Fulham season points at 41 Fulham get 51 points: You win £100 Fulham get 46 points: You win £50 Fulham get 41 points: You break even Fulham get 36 points: You lose £50 Fulham get 31 points: You lose £100 and so on

PREDICTION Finish 17th, 34-39 points



Have you got a crystal ball or is your comment "sooner or later relegation will have them" based on your infinite inside knowledge of FFC and how things will develop there over the coming years?

Antony Melvin

Football is football - only seven teams have avoided the drop in the last ten years; and it would be an achievement if any of the 13 avoided the drop in the coming ten years. Fulham are simply closer to the waves than, say, Middlesbrough or Newcastle right now.

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