Across the past five seasons — including this current one — Fulham have started the new campaign in a different division, giving credence to their recent tag as a yo-yo club; new boss Marco Silva will be hoping to live up to that moniker and ensure next term the Cottagers are in another new division: the Premier League.
The former Everton and Hull City manager has been drafted in to succeed Scott Parker and get the Londoners back in the big time with an immediate bounce. It’s a gruelling 46-game campaign, but the Portuguese coach has proven an astute tactician so will fancy his chances of making a return to the top flight.
Middlesbrough meanwhile have been absence from the Premier League since 2017 and have only made the play-offs once in their four seasons outside the big league. With the evergreen Neil Warnock now at the helm on Teesside, the Boro will take comfort knowing they have an experienced coach running the show.
Fulham vs Middlesbrough: Match Stats
Goals beget confidence but Fulham struggled significantly last season in the final third, netting just 27 times, the second-fewest number, behind only bottom club Sheffield United. Silva meanwhile is not a coach renowned for swashbuckling, up-and-at-em football, so this may be a cagey opening affair. The hosts will feel confident of breaching the Boro net, though, as they boast Aleksandar Mitrovic, who netted 26 goals the last time he was in this division as Fulham sealed promotion in 2019/20. The mercurial Serb won the Championship’s equivalent of the Golden Boot two seasons ago and will certainly have room on his mantlepiece for further individual silverware.
Fulham vs Middlesbrough: Squawka Says
Scoreline prediction: Fulham 1-1 Middlesbrough
Fulham vs Middlesbrough: Odds
Fulham vs Middlesbrough: Head to Head
17 Jan 2020 – Fulham 1-0 Middlesbrough – Championship
26 Oct 2019 – Middlesbrough 0-0 Fulham – Championship
13 Jan 2018 – Middlesbrough 0-1 Fulham – Championship
24 Aug 2016 – Fulham 2-1 Middlesbrough – League Cup
Just the single goal was scored the last time these teams tussled in the second tier, with Fulham winning at Craven Cottage 1-0 in January 2020, a slight improvement for the neutral from their goalless stalemate at the Riverside Stadium. In fact, this has not been a particularly eventful fixture over the last decade, with under 2.5 goals transpiring in eight of the previous 10 fixtures.