Aston Villa make the trip to Fulham this weekend after it was announced that the game would go ahead as ex Tottenham manager Martin Jol takes his first game in charge at the helm at Craven Cottage.
Fulham have improved their record at home over the last couple of seasons and are now a very difficult team to beat and under new manager Martin Jol will be hoping to kick on an improve this season.
The Cottagers will be looking for a big early win which will give them three valuable points for the season ahead and move look to improve on their eight placed finish last year.
Aston Villa have lost a couple of key players this summer but they will now be looking to recover start fresh under new manager Alex McLeish with a win away in London. Stewart Downing and Ashley Young have left the club but McCleish has made a shrewd move by bringing in veteran Shay Given from Manchester City and wingman Charles N’Zogbia from Wigan.
Darren Bent and James Collins should be declared fit after coming back from their International friendlies midweek.
Fulham will try and keep things tight at their own end to make sure they don’t concede before attacking. This is a sensible way to play at home because it can turn Craven Cottage into a fortress.
Villa would probably take any form of win if it was offered to them right now. They have very little to lose as this is the first game so they need to attack heavily when they get the chance and defend deep and well.
Clint Dempsey is set to lead the line for Fulham and much will depend on the big American this season. Demsey has been playing well through pre-season and was one of the club’s best players at the back end of last season and Martin Jol will be hoping of continuing that success.