Paul Lambert has not quite made the start to life in the Midlands he perhaps envisaged when he decided to swap Carrow Road for Villa Park in the summer.
The former Norwich City boss left to try to take Aston Villa back up the table and away from the relegation fight they endured under Alex McLeish.
However, seven games in and Lambert finds his side fifth from bottom in the Premier League, though it may be of some consolation that they are still above the Canaries.
He faces a tricky tie this Saturday as he attempts to rectify the situation and he won’t be thanking the fixture computer, which sends Villa on their fifth away trip in eight games.
Fulham have had a mixed start to the campaign, but crucially for this match, their best performances have come on home soil.
Martin Jol’s men currently occupy ninth in the table and have won two of their three games at Craven Cottage, scoring nine and conceding just two.
Both those goals came in their only home defeat, but as that was against champions Manchester City, perhaps they can be forgiven.
A thumping 5-0 win over Norwich on the opening day and a 3-0 triumph over in-form West Brom have given the fans a lift at the Cottage.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom for Villa. It should be noted that the Cottagers have only beaten their visitors this weekend on three occasions in their 22 Premier League meetings, with Villa victorious nine times.
In addition, Villa beat Fulham 1-0 in their last meeting thanks to a last-minute winner from Andreas Weimann at Villa Park in March, so the 7/2 on an away win could start to look tempting, especially if you think recent history is an important factor.
Having said that, I should also point out that ten of those 22 meetings have ended all square, pointing towards a near 50/50 chance that a draw could be on the horizon – in which case, the 13/5 on offer is an enticing price.
On the face of it, this is a tough one to predict. On the one hand, Fulham have made a far better start to the season and have home advantage, but on the other, Villa have a very good record against the London side and have drawn almost half of their top-flight meetings.
My inclination is to go for form, so I will back Jol and his boys to add to Villa’s woes and pick up a win. Should you agree and wish to lump the free £20 bet you receive when registering with bwin on a 2-0 home victory, then £170 could be your reward.
But for the safer play, take the 3/4 that says Fulham will continue their impressive record at the Cottage by picking up a priceless three points on Saturday.