Few teams dislike a derby as much as Fulham, whose record against their closest neighbours, Chelsea, is nine wins in 77 games; against Arsenal, eight in 52; and against today's opponents Tottenham, 12 in 78.
Along with a poor away record almost every season, it suggests a lack of character, which is an impression the former Spurs manager, Martin Jol, would like to dispel at White Hart Lane today.
Beaten in the past six League meetings with Tottenham, Fulham have not won there since 2003, a run lightened only by a 4-0 home win in the FA Cup two seasons ago. Too often they are simply overrun, as in the 3-0 home defeat in December, when Jermain Defoe scored twice. They lose players to Spurs as well; Jol is still sore about how Clint Dempsey and Moussa Dembélé both moved there right at the end of the summer transfer window. The consolation was to bring in Dimitar Berbatov, who like Jol will receive a good reception this afternoon.
Dempsey is still injured, while Dembélé has proved a more consistently reliable acquisition. "It was a very good time, for sure, I enjoyed it a lot," he said of his stint at Fulham. "They gave me a lot of confidence. They were behind me all the time so I had a very good experience. I have a very good feeling about the club."
The Belgian said Thursday's 4-1 defeat by Internazionale was "a bit embarrassing", but took greater encouragement from the previous loss, 3-2 at Liverpool last weekend: "We lost against Liverpool, but I thought we played well."
After only one loss in five games, Fulham are back in the top 10 and hoping to turn the tide of history today.
Tottenham Hotspur v Fulham is today, kick-off 3pm
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