The Cottagers ended the 2022/23 campaign two places and eight points above their West London rivals and we’ve priced them up at 8/1 to finish above them again this season.
Not since 1983 had Fulham managed to trump their more illustrious neighbours Chelsea to a higher-placed league finish.
That was until last season, however, when the Cottagers managed to defy the bookies’ odds and finally break that duck.
The then top-flight newbies - one of the pre-season favourites for relegation - adjusted seamlessly to life back in the big league, setting the tone for a memorable campaign with an opening day draw against the well-backed title contenders Liverpool.
It proved the catalyst for a far less treacherous campaign than even the most optimistic Fulham supporter could have even dared to imagine.
They were riding high in sixth position in December, firmly in European contention, whilst by January, their Premier League status was, for at least another season, remarkably all but secured.
Not only that, but they also managed to claim the local bragging rights by notching up three points against Chelsea for the first time since 2006, just a couple of weeks before adding further frustration to Graham Potter’s severely underperforming side at Stamford Bridge.
Marco Silva gained plenty of admirers for the way that he had prepared his troops for their Premier League return, working wonders in the transfer market and utilising the strength and aggression of the industrious Alexandar Mitrovic at the top of the pitch.
The summer captures of former Chelsea playmaker Willian, Portuguese ace Joao Palhinha and Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno were inspired, with all three, along with Mitrovic and Tim Ream, forming the five-man shortlist for the club’s official Player of the Season award.
But whilst there was plenty of success to be recognised at Craven Cottage come the end of the campaign, it was a case of attempting to unravel an almighty mess just a couple of miles across town in SW3.
A major Chelsea summer spending spree was overseen by Thomas Tuchel, only for the German boss to be relinquished of his managerial role by September.
Potter was the man sought and eventually caught by the Blues hierarchy, with the aim of implementing the same style and success that had transformed the fortunes of Brighton under his watch.
Despite making a promising start to life in the hot-seat, form and results dipped at the turn of the year as the club’s big money January signings, including Enzo Fernandez, Joao Felix and Mykhaylo Mudryk, all flattered to deceive.
Potter was subsequently dismissed just seven months into his five-year contract, following a 2-0 home defeat against Aston Villa, with Frank Lampard making a surprising return to the Stamford Bridge hot-seat as Todd Boehly and co worked on identifying Potter’s long-term successor.
Lampard’s return failed to galvanise the group in any way as the Blues imploded in an excruciating manner, winning just one of their 11 matches under the former England skipper and ending the season in the bottom half of the top-flight for the first time in 27 years.
The arrival of Mauricio Pochettino, you’d think, will ignite a far healthier and enjoyable 2023/24 season for those of a Chelsea persuasion, but the same was being said just last September following Potter’s hailed arrival.
Fulham consequently made a mockery of their 10/1 odds to finish above the Blues back then, so who’s to say they can’t do likewise this time around.
Fulham to finish higher than:
|West Ham Utd||7/4|
Odds correct at time of publishing and subject to change.