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Game Preview - NSI Runavik (h)

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Perhaps this will be the first of many Wednesday preview posts over the coming season for Fulham. Perhaps NSI Runavik of the Faroe Islands will be the first step into an escapade so elaborate that, once again, May will be a month of destiny rather than a month of closure. Perhaps.

Craven Cottage will be welcoming competitive football onto its lush soil at an awkward and abnormal early season standpoint on Thursday evening, when Fulham kick off a potentially illustrious Europa League campaign against NSI Runavik. Despite being local in the grand scheme of things, Runavik will have had a challenging journey down to London, but will be full of anticipation and merriment with the opportunity to gun down what is now one of Europe's established sides. Yes, I said it.

The Faroe Islands team travel to England in decent form, currently lying in fourth place in their respective league; six points from the top. Their previous tie pitted them against bottom club B71, but Runavik could only produce a draw.

Fulham have no recent form to draw upon, having ended their season little over a month ago. Fitness wise, however, they should be in respectable shape given the shorter holiday. The likes of Brede Hangeland and Bobby Zamora have suffered from lack of rest, but are therefore more likely to be match fit. 

NSI Runavik captain, Christian Jacobsen, should provide a stern test to our defence, having plied his trade with the national side many-a-time.

Martin Jol, who will see over his first competitive game as Fulham manager, will have few injury concerns to worry about; which makes second guessing his intended line-up a mere stab in the dark. The Dutchman plans to set his team out to play as though 'in a friendly, with a serous touch.' This could mean a youthful side with some experienced figureheads to compliment then.

Two players that will definitely miss out, however, are Clint Dempsey and Carlos Salcido, due to their Gold Cup exploits. Moussa Dembele is also carrying an injury and is expected to be overlooked.

Score Prediction: Fulham 4 - 0 NSI Runavik

Predicted Line-Up: Stockdale; Briggs, Hangeland, Senderos, Kelly; Smith, Murphy, Greening, Risse; Johnson, Dalla Valle