There are reunions aplenty in a cracking London derby between Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday as the Dutch Godfather and the Portuguese Enigma go head-to-head.
Martin Jol and Dimitar Berbatov will be doing their best to outwit their former employers, while former Cottagers Clint Dempsey and Moussa Dembele will be doing the same for the away side.
Dempsey fanned the flames ahead of the clash by issuing a thinly-veiled attack on Jol. Referring to his £6 million move to Tottenham on transfer deadline day, the American told BBC Sport: “It came to a point for me where I didn’t feel valued and appreciated, not by the fans, but by other situations. That’s just the way things went.”
He added: “The fans were great to me, the chairman was great to me and it got to the point where I wanted to keep going and try to further my career.”
Tottenham have won three and lost three of their last six games in the Premier League, including consecutive home wins against West Ham and Liverpool in the past week.
Three wins and three defeats is also how their away record reads in 2012/13 and Andre Villas-Boas’ charges have lost their last two away trips to Manchester City and Arsenal.
Fulham, on the other hand, haven’t won in six, losing two of their last three. However, it must be noted that Jol’s side battled to a decent draw at rivals Chelsea in midweek.
The Cottagers have won three of their six games at home this season, losing two, including their last home game on the banks of the Thames against Sunderland, which finished 3-1 in the Black Cats’ favour.
Boosted by their point at Stamford Bridge, it would be no surprise if Fulham inflict defeat on an inconsistent Spurs outfit and if you think Jol can dish out punishment on the club that sacked him back in 2008, then you can find them at 19/10 – not a bad deal given Fulham can boast a forward line of Berbatov, Bryan Ruiz, Mladen Petric and Hugo Rodallega.
However, perhaps you see Tottenham’s away record and Fulham’s home record as a sign that a draw is the likeliest outcome.
There have been seven draws in the 26 clashes between the two since 2001 and 23/10 says it will be eight after Saturday afternoon.
My inclination though is on an away victory in this one at 27/20, with Spurs hitting some form and the likes of Gareth Bale and Jermain Defoe causing havoc to the very best of Premier League defences, scoring 13 goals between them this season.
Fulham have the second-worst form in the top flight and a pretty awful recent record against the side from White Hart Lane.
Tottenham have won four of the last five meetings between the two sides and their double over Jol’s team last season included a 3-1 win at Craven Cottage.