The words ‘West London derby’ normally conjure upo the image of Fulham attempting to get on over their big-spending neighbours Chelsea but this weekend it will be somewhat different.
The Cottagers find themselves in the rare position of being top dogs as they face newly-promoted QPR at Craven Cottage. However, while Fulham might be the team competing in Europe and an established member of the Premier League, it is their rivals from Shepherds Bush that are higher in the table having accumulated twice as many points in their six matches this season.
In facet, Fulham are yet to win a match in the league with draws plaguing Martin Jol’s debut campaign in charge as they hover just above the bottom three. While that position might be alarming, decent displays in the Europa League point to it being a false one.
QPR have already won two matches this season which is all the more impressive after witnessing the 4-0 drubbing handed out to them on the opening day by Bolton Wanderers. The acquisition of Joey Bartom and Shaun Wright-Phillips has lifted everyone at Loftus Road and their team spirit and determination to succeed was exemplified when they secured an injury time equaliser against Aston Villa last weekend, albeit via a Richard Dunne own goal.
But if they are to record another impressive result they will have to thwart the likes of Bobby Zamora, Bryan Ruiz and an Andy Johnson who has rediscovered his shooting boots. QPR’s Armand Traore sits the game out through suspension but otherwise manager Neil Warnock has no constraints over selection.