Keep in mind these questions were asked before the results of the midweek matches. With so many matches in a short period of time, and the holidays going on, I wanted to give our guests plenty of lead time.
CC: Assem Allam seems to be in a secret competition with Vincent Tan to see who can make their supporters more upset. It makes me feel blessed that Al Fayed was such a good owner (if a bit eccentric) and that Shahid Khan so far seems to be good as well. What is your opinion of the current ownership situation and drama that's coming with it?
Andy Dalton: The Tan/Allam contest is a deeply dispiriting spectacle. The funny thing is that, by and large, we’re not too unhappy with Assem Allam’s time here. The club’s debt (to him) has grown worryingly, but we’re in the Premier League and Steve Bruce is our manager, so those are obvious things in his favour. However the name change wheeze is utterly unacceptable, and the appallingly crass way in which it’s been prosecuted is alienating even those who could have stomached it.
CC: Many people pegged Hull to be one of the clubs to go down this year. So far, they aren't in the relegation zone; though a few bad fixtures could change that. What are your expectations for the rest of the season and how confident are you that the team will stay up?
AD: I’m confident City will stay up; I always was, though I didn’t expect to be quite as high in the table at Christmas. The likelihood is that as the season wears on our relatively thin squad will become increasingly exposed, but then two of our best players are due to return to fitness before it ends, so we have that to look forward to. Chances are we’ll drop down the table a little as May approaches, but we’re organised, effective and play some damn good football, so there’s every reason to think we’ll stay up, even if it does get a little close.
CC: I'm curious how you and other supporters view Fulham as a club. The clubs are of similar size and have similar size stadiums. Until this recent run in the top flight, Fulham doesn't have that much more history in the first division. Do you see any similarities or differences? When you think of Fulham, what's the first thing that cums to mind?
AD: I think there’s plenty of common. One of the regrets of our first stint in the Premier League is that both trips to Craven Cottage were on an evening, it’s reputedly a top day out and it’ll be nice to sample it during the day. I think Fulham are almost universally regarded as a well run club that’s friendly to visiting supporters (too friendly?) and whose extended stay in the top flight is both a credit to themselves and something to offer encouragement to others.
Projected lineup, and score prediction
AD: Injuries permitting, I expect we’ll be very similar to Saturday, meaning a 3-5-2 formation, looking a bit like this:
Bruce Davies Chester
Elmohamady Meyler Huddlestone Livermore Figueroa
I’m confident, but not excessively so. Our games tend to be low-scoring, so the first goal will be essential. 1-0 City would be a tentative guess, but it really is an appealingly open game.