Fulham know a little about history after last season’s exploits, so perhaps it is fitting that, after a little re-scheduling of the home and away fixtures, Fulham are the first ever side to visit Blackpool for a Premier League match.
Bloomfield Road has completed its overhaul and now we will just be wondering which Blackpool will turn up: the one that strolled past Wigan for a handsome win or the one that had a rather difficult tour round the Emirates pitch and got trounced.
Fulham arrive in good spirits. Unbeaten in the league and fresh from a 6-0 (already this season’s most freakishly popular score-line) outing in the Carling Cup which included a cup debut goal for Moussa Dembele and two for Zoltan Gera who seems to be over-coming his recent bout of homesickness.
Manager Mark Hughes seems to be quickening up his modification of Fulham with this weekend perhaps being Paul Konchesky’s last game ahead of what looks a likely move to Anfield. Mark Schwarzer’s protracted move across London will be settled by Monday too – one way or the other.
Hughes has moved quickly to try and bring Mexican left back Carlos Salcido who has been with the Cottagers for talks and whose arrival would suggest Konchesky’s transfer will be sanctioned.
Rafik Halliche’s deal has been concluded. The Algerian centre back so enjoyed the easy ride he had playing against English players in the World Cup, he thought he would try it out every week.
Then, having failed to land Craig Bellamy, he has turned his attention to another player he has signed twice before; Roque Santa Cruz.
Although the arrival of Dembele might suggest that Roque’s signature isn’t a must, Hughes is known to be concerned by Fulham’s lack of goals last year and wants options, so he could well believe in Santa for a third time.
But all of the transfer talk and the impending end of August deadline shouldn’t over-shadow what could well be a memorable trip to the revamped home of the Seasiders and what should be our first three point tally this season.
I don’t think there will be any chance of Fulham taking them lightly and hopefully we should be too strong and too well organised for them and create enough chances to come away with a win.
It is an important little run of games in the Premier League and will tell us much about the rest of the season. After the trip to Blackpool, it is Wolves at home followed by an away trip to Blackburn.
*Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.
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