Thomas McIlroy The Opposition's View

This weekend Villa travel to Craven Cottage to take on a Fulham side in a similar rich vein of form.

The Cottagers are undefeated since mid-December, and in that run they’ve beaten Ipswich Town 4-1 and Burton Albion 4-2.

For this week’s opposition view, we’ve asked Fulham fan and Football Whispers writer @thomasmcilroy.

Are you happy with the business Fulham did in the transfer window?

If you’d have asked me at 5pm on Deadline Day, I’d have said no, but bringing in Aleksandar Mitrovic and Cyrus Christie late on changed that.

I’d have maybe liked another centre-half with Michael Madl leaving, but I think we look strong.

We needed a different option up front and Mitrovic gives that.

What’s more, bringing in Matt Targett means Ryan Sessegnon can move further forward, where he’s much stronger. Fulham ended January stronger than when they started it.

With the Cottagers unbeaten in the league since the 16th of December, do you think you can keep this run going and sneak into an automatic promotion spot?

I’m a lot more optimistic than the last time we spoke for sure!

If you’d have asked me as recently as the beginning of December, I’d have laughed at play-offs being realistic.

Now I’d be disappointed if we didn’t make them.

I think we’re behind Derby and Aston Villa in the likelihood of making second, but it’s not unrealistic.

I’ll be very surprised if we come out of our next five fixtures (Aston Villa (H), Bristol City (A), Wolves (H), Derby (A), Sheffield United (H)) unbeaten.

I’d take being six points off second after that.

Who has been your standout performer this season and why?

I hate to big him up but Sessegnon.

He’s popped up with so many goals and is a real threat in attack.

He has a great goal scoring instinct and it’s unbelievable that he’s only 17, he’ll definitely be at a massive club before long.

Kevin McDonald deserves a mention though, he’s been a rock in front of the back four.

If you could, which past Fulham player would you bring into the Starting XI?

If we had Brede Hangeland and Aaron Hughes as our defensive duo, we’d be in the top two.

I like Tomas Kalas and Tim Ream but they have too many mistakes in them.

Although if you’d asked me before January, I’d have said Moussa Dembele, he left a season or two too early, he’d have scored loads of goals in this free flowing Slavisa Jokanovic team.

I’m happy with Mitrovic now though.

If you were stranded on a desert island with one other Fulham player, who would it be and why?

Marcelo Djalo.

It’d keep him away from the first-team squad at least…

What’s your score prediction for Saturday?


I’d love to say we’ll win, but I think you’ll have too much.

I don’t want to predict us losing, so I’ll go for a draw between two even sides at the moment.

Words by Harry Trend (@HazaTrand) // Follow us on Twitter (@claretandview)

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