As the F.A. Cup takes centre stage this weekend, It’s time to look ahead to one of the few Championship games taking place, as relegation rivals Fulham and Charlton battle it out in this hotly-contested London derby.
Fulham and Charlton have both had similarly terrible form since the turn of the year, with both clubs having only had one win in their last six games. Their form is, in fact, identical over the last six games (1 win, 2 draws and 3 losses), which has subsequently led to both clubs being involved in a relegation scrap that has made this derby so pivotal to both clubs’ fortunes.
Charlton will definitely have to be wary of the combined firepower of Moussa Dembele (10 goals) and Ross McCormack (16 goals), who have 26 goals between them this season, as was proven against QPR last weekend when the pair both netted in a 3-1 away win. Dembele was on the cusp of joining Tottenham in the January window, but the deal broke down when Fulham demanded to have him back on loan till the end of the season. McCormack was also subject to much speculation during the window, having handed in a transfer request after Championship high-flyers Middlesbrough began to show interest in the Scottish forward. They, however, opted to go with fellow Scottish and Championship striker Jordan Rhodes, in their attempts to get back to the promise land of the Premier League.
Fulham, who are currently under a transfer embargo did however manage to bring in some much-needed reinforcements on loan, with former Fulham midfielder Chris Baird (on loan from Derby) joining the likes of Zakarya Labyad (on loan from Sporting Lisbon), Rohan Ince (on loan from Brighton) and Michael Madl (on loan from Sturm Graz) at Craven Cottage for the remainder of the season.
Charlton went about their business in a similar fashion (despite not being under any transfer restraints) bringing in several players on short-term loans, with Yaya Sanogo, Rod Fanni, Marco Motta and QPR defender Yun Suk-Young all joining on loan over the last month or so. Whilst Roger Johnson and Diego Poyet both rejoined the club on short-term deals after fruitless stints at West Ham and Pune City, respectively. The window has also seen star striker Tony Watt leave on loan twice, after a disputed bust up in the team, whilst promising youngster Ademola Lookman has been touted by some of the Premier Leagues, top teams.
The prior fixture, at the Valley, ended in a 2-2 draw, with Fulham surrendering a two-goal lead. With the last game at Craven Cottage being a commanding 3-0 win for Fulham, a result that would almost certainly confine Charlton to a place in League One next season were it to transpire this Saturday.