Guardian writers’ predicted position 19th (NB: this is not necessarily John Brewin’s prediction but the average of our writers’ tips)
Last season’s position: 1st (Championship)
Odds to win the league (via Oddschecker) 1,000-1
Back in April, Fulham supporters invaded the pitch after promotion was secured. The celebrations were still pretty muted, and not just because the Cottagers fans’ genteel reputation precedes them. The club’s last two promotions to the Premier League were followed by immediate relegation, and so finishing 17th or higher would be seen as a resounding success.
Craven Cottage will have a different look, the towering Riverside Stand is finally open for business, although initially only the lower tier, as the owner, Shahid Khan, modernises the chintzy, beloved stadium. High ticket prices to pay for the renovations have become a battleground between fans and Khan.
The cost can climb as high as £100 for a single match ticket for the opener with Liverpool, asking a great deal of fans when Marco Silva, the manager, has admitted the label of a “yo-yo team” is a “good nickname” “. Last season was enjoyable, a breeze back up, but Silva will be without Fabio Carvalho, sold to Liverpool, a main supplier of Aleksandar Mitrovic’s record haul of 43 Championship goals, although Harry Wilson remains.
It is in neither Silva nor Fulham’s makeup to play percentage football, and that high-paying public have come to expect entertainment. Khan will likely not match the ill-starred £100m of spending in the summer of 2018, and has spoken of needing to “have a different approach than one of the bigger clubs”. The hope is Silva has enough nous and his players can find enough quality to break the cycle of promotion followed by demotion.