New look strike force

A late surge of form helped Fulham achieve their second highest ever points tally in the Premier League, finishing on level pegging with Liverpool, thanks in no small part to the goalscoring consistency of on loan striker Pavel Pogrebnyak.

Despite being beaten to the permanent signing of Pogrebnyak by Reading last week, Fulham manager Martin Jol has acted quickly to reinforce his attacking line with the addition of two new forwards, both of whom have been snapped up on free transfers following the end of their contracts.

Firstly, experienced Croatian international Mladen Petric, a 6’1” target man known for his technique as much as his physical prowess. He arrives from Hamburg having scored 51 goals in five seasons in the German Bundesliga, and indeed one against Fulham themselves in the 2009-10 Europa League semi-final. It was also he who scored the winning goal for Croatia on that fateful soggy Wembley evening in 2007 to end England’s hopes of qualifying for Euro 2008.

Fulham’s other new addition is quite a different kettle of fish- former Wigan man Hugo Rodallega has bags of pace and a box of dribbling tricks large enough to fool even the most experienced Premier League defenders. Despite enduring a mixed season in the North West last term, Rodallega has proved on a number of occasions during that he has the quality to score goals at the highest level, and is Wigan’s all-time leading goalscorer in the Premier League.

If the two new arrivals can quickly form a successful strike partnership, and if Fulham can keep hold of midfield maestros Clint Dempsey and Moussa Dembélé, allegedly coveted by Liverpool and Manchester United respectively, then Martin Jol’s side have a real chance of smashing their record tally of 52 points and challenging the likes of Liverpool once again for a place in Europe.