Expected position of the Guardian book 19th (note: this isn’t necessarily John Bruin’s expectation but the average of our writers’ tips)
Last season’s position 1st (Championship)
League winning odds (via Oddschecker) 1000-1
Back in April, Fulham supporters invaded the stadium after securing a promotion. The festivities were still muted, and not just because Cottgers fans’ pleasant reputation preceded them. The club’s recent promotions to Premier League An immediate drop followed, and therefore a 17th or higher position is considered a resounding success.
Craven Cottage will have a different look, as the towering Riverside Pavilion has finally opened for business, although only lower tier at first, as the owner, Shahid Khan, has upgraded the beloved chintzy stadium. High ticket prices to pay for renovations have become a battleground between fans and Khan.
The cost could go up to £100 for a single match ticket for the opening game with Liverpool, which many fans asked when manager Marco Silva admitted that naming a ‘team yo-yo’ was a ‘good title’. Last season was fun and a spare breeze, but Silva will be without Fabio Carvalho, who was sold to Liverpool, main supplier to Aleksandar Mitrovic who scored 43 goals in the tournament, though Harry Wilson remains.
It is neither Silva nor Fulham make-up that they play a percentage of football, and that the well-paid public has come to expect entertainment. Khan will likely not match the £100m sum in the summer of 2018, and has spoken of the need to “take a different approach than one of the big clubs”. The hope is that Silva has enough intelligence and his players can find enough quality to break the cycle of promotion followed by demotion.