Jacob Sinkins is a Norwich City fan who graciously agreed to answer our questions. This is an intriguing match between two of the top offenses in the division. Games like this are often decided on who can play better defense. Normally that’s not a good thing for Fulham, but Norwich has been worse on defense that the Cottagers this season.
Fulham could really use the points here as Sheffield get to host Cardiff City, and Fulham need to keep pace.
Cottagers Confidential: Have you guys given up hope of a top six finish? While it isn't mathematically impossible, I don't see a way it happens for you. What are your goals for the rest of the season?
Jacob Sinkins: I'd say the majority of fans have, but there are a few optimists left. Personally, I have to side with the former. I think that the managerial change was too little, too late, and the side have still performed too poorly under Alan Irvine to challenge for the playoffs. I think Norwich need to see out the rest of this season, maybe get some youngsters some experience, and prepare for a real title challenge next season.
CC: The only thing that really separates Fulham and Norwich is that Norwich has turned some draws into losses. You score just as much, but your defense is slightly more porous. Is the defensive issues the biggest thing that kept you out of the top six? What exactly is causing the defensive problems?
JS: It's not only the defence that can be blamed for Norwich's problems this season, the blame has to lie at the feet of the whole team. Furthermore, Alex Neil's inability to manage that team well has also hampered us, but since his departure things haven't really changed and it seems like we may have attributed him more blame than he deserved. I'd say the defensive problems are being caused by the fact that we spent long periods of our season not playing our best defender, Timm Klose. Furthermore, we don't have two good centre-backs, so whoever Klose is paired with is not up to standard and, in turn, makes him play worse.
CC: What kind of Jedi mind trick do Fulham need to use to beat you this weekend but have you ready to turn around and crush Leeds? Don't you owe it to us after that performance you put in against Wednesday?
JS: Fulham are notoriously our bogey team so many fans won't have high expectations. However, we have been incredibly strong at home this season, so you could be in for a shock. Leeds away, £60 for travel and ticket has a drab 3-0 loss written all over it for City. We've been abysmal on the road and it's an insult to our devoted away support. The worst thing about that performance against Wednesday is that it really wasn't too unexpected. We hadn't beaten any top eight side, and we were still under Alex Neil. Norwich fans will probably be willing Fulham into the playoffs, because if you go up, it means we can't lose at Craven Cottage for another season!
CC: Predicted lineup and scoreline?
JS: Predicted XI: Ruddy; Pinto, Klose, Martin, Dijks; Tettey, Howson; Ja. Murphy, Pritchard, Hoolahan; Oliveira
Predicted Score: 2-1 to Norwich, but it'll be close!