This fixture on opening Weekend of the 2017/18 Championship has an element on intrigue around it as it features two clubs that have Premier League promotion ambitions. Fulham finished sixth and reached the play-offs last season and, though they were knocked out by Reading in the semi-finals, it was the closest to Premier League promotion since they left in 2013/14 and they showed themselves to be genuine contenders.
Slaviša Jokanović has completely revitalised a side that narrowly avoided relegation to League One when he took over, and made them joint-top scorers last season, along with Newcastle United and Norwich City. In fact, it was only their defence, with 57 conceded, and a penchant for draws, that stopped them being closer to the top-two’s dominance. With United and Brighton out of the picture, though, the Serbian will sense an opportunity to push for the automatic berths.Norwich, meanwhile, are desperate for a return to the Premier League after a season out of it. Though after hiring Daniel Farke, who was previously manager of Borussia Dortmund’s second team, and letting many of their senior players depart, it is difficult to predict how they will get on. The last time that they hired a young and unproven coach – Alex Neil in 2015 – the Canaries won the Championship play-offs at their first attempt, though struggled badly with the step up to the Premier League and came straight back down.
Neil’s management ended abruptly in March as it became clear that City were not going to have a successful end to the season – they eventually finished eighth. Farke has cleared out recognised names such as John Ruddy, and replaced him with Angus Gunn – son of Bryan, the legendary Canaries goalkeeper – so there is a lot to be excited, if not nervous about in Norfolk.
For this 16:00 (CEST) kick-off on Saturday, Tipbet provide 63 markets and have the hosts as 2.05 favourites at Craven Cottage. It considered more likely than not, at 1.60, that both teams will find the net, though, and City are offered at 3.55 to get three points. All odds for the opening weekend of the Championship can be seen here.