Slaven Bilic: West Brom to face fired up Fulham
Slaven Bilic believes Albion will face a fired up Fulham tomorrow – with the Londoners eager to get back on track in front of their own fans.
The Baggies – fresh from the international break – travel to the capital to take on a Fulham side who many people are tipping to finish in the automatic promotion places.
But despite the quality at their disposal, Scott Parker's side have lost their last two matches at Craven Cottage with a 2-1 loss to Nottingham Forest followed by a League Cup defeat to Southampton.
And Bilic will tell his players those results are likely to make Fulham a wounded animal.
"For us, and we’ll repeat this to the players, they are going to be on fire because they didn’t win the last couple of games," the Croatian said.
"It puts a little bit of pressure on them but they are a big club and a big and experienced team.
"They will be motivated by that more than being nervous or down.
"But it’s also a big opportunity for us because some other teams have done it on their home soil."
Fulham have one of the strongest squads in the Championship with Aleksandar Mitrovic, Anthony Knockaert and Ivan Cavaleiro a hugely impressive front three.
And Bilic admits, on paper, they are the toughest side his team has faced so far.
"On the one hand, what makes the Championship a big league is that every game is a big test," the 51-year-old continued.
"But on the other hand, yes. Fulham is a big team.
"They got relegated from the Premier League last year and they kept the players they wanted to keep.
"On paper, they are one of the favourites to go up so it’s a big test for us.
"But it is also a big test for them.
"Nobody is cruising. If you look at the three teams who came down from the Premier League last season, they are doing everything but cruising.
"Fulham is doing well, but Huddersfield, Cardiff – that shows how competitive this league is.
"On paper, they are the best team we have faced so far, but it’s not easy for them in the Championship.
"And we have already played against big teams like Derby, like Forest. It’s a very big game for both of us."