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Fulham v Crystal Palace

Aleksandar Mitrovic has signed permanently for Fulham, having scored 12 goals on loan last season

TEAM NEWS

Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic has a host of summer signings to choose from, including record buy Jean Michael Seri and Andre Schurrle.

Alfie Mawson is out until September after knee surgery, while Dennis Odoi serves the final game of a suspension.

Crystal Palace new signings Cheikhou Kouyate, goalkeeper Vicente Guaita and Jordan Ayew are in contention to play.

Fellow new recruit Max Meyer is not yet match fit, while Scott Dann, Connor Wickham and Jonny Williams are all out.

MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES

@SteveBowercomm: A 2-2 draw at home to Crystal Palace back in May 2014 marked the end of Premier League football for Fulham but a repeat of that fixture begins life back in the top flight for the Whites.

Slavisa Jokanovic has realised the need for new faces, and heavy recruitment has only raised the level of anticipation.

Palace need only to go back to the opening day of last season, when they were well beaten by Huddersfield, to be warned of the potential momentum of a play-off winner.

Revered ex-Fulham boss Roy Hodgson returns to the club where he will always have a place in history, but determined to mark his 71st birthday on Thursday in positive fashion.

VIEW FROM THE DUGOUT

Fulham head coach Slavisa Jokanovic: “It’s important to show ambition and desire to stay up – that’s our first target.

“We’re building a team to be competitive at this level. We’ve made a great investment in the transfer market and I’m hoping we’ll see an immediate benefit.”

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson: “We know more than most (after Palace lost all seven of their opening fixtures last season) what a bad start can bring.

“We just need to make sure we are fully prepared for the first game and make a good game of it. We feel we’re ready.”

LAWRO’S PREDICTION

It is sure to be a good atmosphere in Fulham’s first game back in the top flight since 2014, and I am backing them to start with a win.

Prediction: 2-1

Lawro’s full predictions v Inbetweeners star Joe Thomas

Slavisa Jokanovic is the first Serbian to manage in the Premier League

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • Crystal Palace’s sole win in their last eight matches against Fulham was 2-0 in the Premier League at Selhurst Park in 2004.
  • The Eagles have not won at Craven Cottage since a 3-2 triumph in the second tier in 1986.
  • There have been 13 goals scored in the last three matches between the clubs.

Fulham

  • Including the play-offs, Fulham won 20 and lost only two of their final 27 Championship matches.
  • Fulham’s last league defeat at Craven Cottage was 2-0 by Bristol City on 31 October 2017.
  • The Whites have kept clean sheets in each of their past five Premier League opening fixtures.
  • Fulham have not lost an opening day home fixture since a 2-1 third tier defeat by Tranmere in 1989.
  • This game marks their 500th top-flight home match. The first was in 1949.

Crystal Palace

  • Crystal Palace ended 2017-18 unbeaten in six games, including four wins.
  • Both of Palace’s opening day Premier League wins have been in away games: against Everton in 1997 and Norwich in 2015.
  • The Eagles won only one of their eight London derbies last season.
  • Roy Hodgson was Fulham’s manager between 2007-10 and led them to the 2010 Europa League final, where they lost to Atletico Madrid.
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