No one really wants to think anymore about that game on Saturday do they? Good. Thankfully, the Leeds United fans and players have a chance to move on quickly, as Tuesday night Leeds face Fulham back at Elland Road.
In the second of our new series "Leeds Against The World," we interviewed Andrew Beck of SB Nation's Cottagers Confidential to see how the enemy sees the game on Tuesday night. As of today, Leeds sits in 17th place with 37 points after 31 games, and Fulham sits in 18th place with 35 points after 32 games. Neither team is excelling, but nine points clear of relegation, neither team looks to be going down either. A lost season for both; let's see if Andrew has any more hope that we do going into Tuesday.
Leeds Against The World: Fulham FC
Hey, Andrew. Thanks for doing this. Both Fulham and Leeds are flirting with the relegation zone in the Championship table, what’s been your biggest disappointment as a Fulham fan this season?
The biggest disappointment has been the sacking of Kit Symons. When he was brought in last year, the team didn't really have much choice. He had a great run as the caretaker, and there was no point in not letting him keep the job for the full year. Unfortunately we never got a chance to decide if the job was too big for him. This year we found out that it most definitely was. Because of this, Fulham have spent more than half a season just treading water.
Where do you think you’ll end up?
I don't think either Fulham or Leeds are in much danger of going down. The gap between Blackburn and the bottom five is pretty massive in goal differential. I'd expect Fulham to continue to improve under Slavisa and end up somewhere in the 12-15 spots at seasons end. A top 10 finish would make me ecstatic and very high on the squad going into next year.
Have there been any positives in the 2015/16 campaign for Fulham?
Slavisa Jokanovic appears to be a quality coach who wants to be at Fulham. That's a huge plus. It's been since Roy Hodgson that we've had a coach with quality who actually wants to be here. A few of the players brought in on transfers (Cairney, Madl, O'Hara) have been good. Ross McCormack has had another outstanding year, and Fulham have someone managed to hold on to him.
Do you have a favorite Fulham-Leeds memory?
For two clubs that have been around as long as Fulham and Leeds, there isn't a lot of history. I missed out on most of the early games in the Premier League. When I think of Leeds vs. Fulham, I actually mostly think of the transfer saga around Ross McCormack and the banter about how much we paid. He's been worth every cent for what it's worse.
What’s one matchup we should watch for on Tuesday?
Ross McCormack and Moussa Dembele are an EPL quality strike duo. I'm not sure you'll face a better tandem in the division all year. They've combined for 28 goals and 10 assists in all completions this year (26 and 10 in league play). Considering Leeds has only scored 29 league goals this year, that's a pretty hefty total from them.
Give us a reason you’ll win:
Slavisa seems to be a good coach. When he gets a decision wrong (as he did when attempting to use a 4-4-2 against Charlton on the weekend), he's quick to recognize it and right it. If he gets it wrong, you're going to have to pile on before he fixes things, because chances are he will.
Give us a reason you’ll lose:
Fulham's defense has been dire all year. Slavisa doesn't seem to want to play it, but a 3-5-2/5-3-2 hybrid formation has been the only thing that has worked for Fulham this year. If he starts the team lined up a different way, the hole could be too big to climb out of before he gets a chance to make a change.
What’s your predicted result?
Every time Fulham have ever gotten my hopes up, they've disappointed me soon after. The 3-0 win on the weekend has me feeling good. I'm going to say they win 3-0 again. But all the supporters know what the word Fulhamish means, and a Fulhamish performance wouldn't shock me at all either.
Thanks to Andrew for helping with our second Leeds Against The World Q&A. You can read more of his work, along with that of the rest of his talented team, over at the SB Nation Fulham blog, Cottagers Confidential.