Two sides looking to kick start their premier league campaign go head-to-head at the Hawthrowns on Saturday as Roy Hodgson’s aimless-looking West Brom welcome Martin Jol’s Fulham.
The West Bromich manager can point to the tough opening pair of games against Chelsea and Manchester United for his side’s delayed start to the season but following an unconvincing win over Norwich they were resoundingly beaten by other new boys Swansea last weekend.
Hodgson will welcome the team he took to the Europa League final two years ago but it looks to be a very different fight this year for both ex-manager and club as they entertain the possibility of a relegation battle as the season begins to take shape.
That was evident in the West Brom team that lined out on Tuesday in the Carling Cup and Hodgson reiterated that following the game.
“Our goal isn’t to win the League Cup — it’s another season in the Premier League”, he said.
Martin Jol had no such ideas though and his side were beaten on penalties after a keenly contested match against local rivals Chelsea, and though it’s been a shaky start Jol’s side have begun to show signs of improving as they adapt to their new manager.
Last Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Manchester City at Craven Cottage may have been down to the visitors taking their foot off the pedal but Fulham lived with the vastly superior side for an hour before taking advantage of City’s complacency and were unlucky not to get a win in the end.
Jol was buoyed by the result and said that Fulham are in a false position after an unlucky start to the season with injuries.
“We’ve got players like Hangeland, Duff and Dempsey and possibly Aaron Hughes to come back this weekend for our game against West Brom,” Jol said.
“I feel that we should have won our home games so far this season and this League is about results so we try and win at West Brom on Saturday.”