Fulham-Cardiff City Preview
The return to the Premier League continues to be a struggle for Fulham. However, their situation is slightly better than what Cardiff City are going through.
A pair of newly promoted clubs with just one victory between them meet Saturday in Wales for the first time as Premier League members since the 2013-14 season.
Fulham (1-2-5) and Cardiff (0-2-6) joined Wolves as the three promoted sides to the Premier League this season. Whilst Wolverhampton have enjoyed a strong start that have them sitting seventh in the table, these other two find themselves in an early relegation scrap.
Fulham's lone league victory came against a tired Burnley side, 4-2 back on Aug, 26. Since then, the Cottagers are 0-2-3 and been outscored 14-4. They entered the recent international break off a 5-1 thrashing at the hands of Arsenal, leaving them in 17th place in the table - two points clear of the drop zone.
"At the moment, we show so many weaknesses for this level where we are, especially on the defensive side, so we must work very hard to find the solution to this kind of problem," manager Slavisa Jokanovic told Fulham's official website.
"We must build trust in ourselves, we must be working, we must know where we are. At the moment, we haven't shown a Premier League level. It's not an easy competition, we must be brave, be strong, push forward and be ready for the next challenge."
That next challenge comes against Cardiff, who did the double over Fulham the last time these clubs played together in the Premier League during the 2013-14 campaign.
The Bluebirds would love to revisit that success, but simply earning three points in the league at the moment has been a huge task. Mired at the bottom of the table, one of three teams still without a top-flight victory, Cardiff have managed just four goals while conceding 17.
Their only points came via back-to-back scoreless draws with Newcastle and Huddersfield Town in August. Since then, Cardiff have dropped five in a row whilst allowing 15 goals of those 17 goals. However, they actually went into the break off a decent performance in a 1-0 road loss to Tottenham Hotspur on Oct. 6.
"There's a lot of belief in this squad," midfielder Junior Hoilett told Cardiff's official website."We showed that we can compete with the top teams away from home. We gave our all, and we were unlucky not to get anything out of it.
"We showed with our performance (against Tottenham) that we can get the points, but we just have to keep going and I'm sure they'll come."
Veteran manager Neil Warnock agrees.
"You've got to have a bit of luck and we haven't had much, so hopefully we'll get some soon," Warnock said. "We've been in the games. We've got a great group of lads, who have been trying their hardest and we'll keep going. Fulham are next and we'll be ready for that - to try and get our first win."
Updated October 18, 2018