So far, so good for Martin Jol in his quest to repeat Roy Hodgson’s achievement of 2009/10 where the latter led Fulham to the Europa League final after starting the campaign a full nine months earlier.
Once more, the Cottagers are making their way through the preliminary rounds of the competition with relative ease and Thursday’s second leg against Crusaders should be a relative walk in the park after the London side won 3-1 last week.
Stan James offer a best price 1/25 that Fulham beat their northern Irish opponents, with Matthew Briggs, Bobby Zamora and Danny Murphy having helped the Cottagers to a straightforward win at Seaview.
Zamora is the 11/4 favourite to open the scoring on Thursday night as the home side look to put the game to bed, with Moussa Dembele on offer at 3/1 (William Hill – £25 free bet) and penalty taker Danny Murphy available to back at 9/1 (Hills).
Crusaders did haul themselves level in the first leg in Belfast before two late Fulham goals saw them effectively knocked out of the competition, although they have little to lose from attacking their opponents at Craven Cottage.
Stephen Baxter’s team are 50/1 (Boylesports) to claim victory and a massive 125/1 (bet365 – £200 free bets) to qualify from the title, with a draw on offer at 12/1 (bet365) which would be a credible result against a Premier League club looking for a top half finish next term.