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Saturday Fulham Stuff - 02/11/19...

Started by WhiteJC, October 31, 2019, 03:27:21 PM

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Bristol City


'I think he should start' – Parker faces Fulham player decision pre-Hull City: The verdict

This article is part of Football League World's 'The Verdict' series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more...

Fulham manager Scott Parker will be hoping his side can make it three unbeaten when they host Hull City at the weekend, as the Cottagers look to close the gap on leaders West Brom who they trail by four points.

Ahead of the weekend one selection question Parker needs to answer, is whether to bring back on-loan midfielder Harry Arter to the starting XI, having missed the Cottagers last two outings.

So does Arter deserve a recall to the starting XI?

We discuss..........

Louie Chandler

"I think he should start.

"I have regularly maintained throughout this season that the Whites are a better, more balanced side with the defensive midfielder in their starting XI so I think he should start.

"A 4-3-3 with himself, Cairney and Johansen in the middle seems to offer the best balance and allow their dynamic front three a host of opportunities whilst also providing protection to the back four.

"This is a match that Fulham have to be winning if they are going to challenge for promotion, so it will be interesting to see what Parker opts to do."

Jordan Rushworth

"Scott Parker certainly has a decision to make in terms of his midfield selection ahead of their clash with Hull City on Saturday, and Arter should definitely be in his thoughts for a starting place, given Fulham have somewhat struggled with a lack of defensive steel in their midfield in recent weeks.

"Fulham had conceded six goals in three matches before they managed to hold Middlesbrough to a goalless draw last time out, despite being down to ten men for most of the game, and although that suggests that Parker's side might have found a decent midfield balance in that game, it is worth considering that Boro struggle for goals.

"Arter would be able to come back in and provide the ability to break up play in midfield, which could be vital against Hull considering the Tigers have looked strong on the counter attack in recent weeks, and so the midfielder could be able to come in and provide more cover to the defence on the transition.

"The midfielder though is in need of finding his best form if he is going to keep himself in Fulham's side for the rest of the campaign, given Parker has lots of other options available for him to select in midfield, but Arter would be able to add some need extra solidity on Saturday if he starts."

Ned Holmes

"Yes, I think Parker should bring the midfielder back in.

"The 29-year-old seems to add more control to the midfield and his experience is useful in the centre of the park.

"Hull have had an up and down season but we've seen them pick up results against some promotion contenders, so Fulham will have to be careful.

"Adding Arter should allow them to have a better grip on the game and reduce the service that Grosicki, Bowen etc. receive."


Former West Ham striker Bobby Zamora reveals Liverpool and England regret

Bobby Zamora speaks to The Offside Rule Exclusives about why he has no plans to be a professional coach and two of his career regrets.

When looking back on his playing career Bobby Zamora doesn't have many regrets. The former West Ham, Brighton and Fulham striker enjoyed an impressive 16-year top flight career including fulfilling a boyhood ambition to represent his childhood team West Ham and playing for England.

But, the 38-year-old, who retired in December 2016, has revealed one rare regret is turning down the chance to sign for Liverpool in the January transfer window in 2011.

Zamora was at Fulham when Roy Hodgson left for Liverpool and the former striker told Offside Rule Exclusives the current European champions bid for him, as did Spurs, but former owner Mohamed Al-Fayed blocked the deal.

"Maybe I should have dealt with it differently and done what I've seen other people do to get the move that they want," he said. "I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Fulham when I stayed there but maybe that would be one regret, not going to Liverpool or Spurs at that top time. Probably Liverpool more than Spurs."

That wasn't the only regret the former striker had that year. Just six months earlier, he was included in Fabio Capello's World Cup squad but pulled out due to injury.

"In my mind I thought, if I went to the World Cup, would I train? Probably not, because I needed to rest my Achilles. If I wasn't training, would I be selected? Probably not. In my mind, I thought I should just get it done and get it sorted for the next season," he explained. "Now, looking back, I probably should have been selfish and experienced the World Cup.

Zamora didn't get to experience the World Cup, picking up just two caps before he hung up his boots in 2016. Having put his playing career behind him, he's now focused on a social housing foundation he runs with Rio Ferdinand and Mark Noble and coaching, albeit he admitted he has no plans to become a coach professionally.

He said: "Coaching professionally is an absolute no-no for me. The pressure in terms of owners, fans and the media, it's 24/7. I wouldn't want to be a coach in the Premier League or with a professional team. It's not for me and never really has been. I've got my coaching badges up to B and I don't want to go any further. That's just needed for the elite boys and I'm fine with that."

While his tests in the professional game are over, the former England striker isn't ruling out a test of a totally different kind.

"Do you know what I would like to do? The Island with Bear Grylls, that's what I would love to do. I love the outdoors, I go fishing, I love that sort of outdoors escape thing and that's a real challenge."


Fulham v Hull City
SAT 02 Nov 2019   Championship
Venue: Craven Cottage

Marcus Bettinelli has started 12 of Fulham's 14 league games this season

Fulham goalkeeper Marek Rodak is suspended for Saturday's Championship match against Hull City, so Marcus Bettinelli is set for a return.

Stefan Johansen and Harry Arter are both injury doubts for the hosts, who are one point off the play-off places.

Hull's Hungarian forward Norbert Balogh (calf) is unlikely to be fit in time, but City have no new injury concerns.

Northern Ireland striker Josh Magennis willl miss out as he serves the the second match of a four-game ban.

Match facts
    Fulham and Hull last faced each other in the Championship in December 2017, sharing a 2-2 draw at the KC Stadium.
    In all competitions, Hull have lost their last two away matches against Fulham since a 1-0 win in January 2016.
    Including play-offs, Fulham have lost just one of their last 23 home Championship matches (W17 D5 L1).
    Hull's Kamil Grosicki and Jarrod Bowen have combined to create 19 chances for one another in the Championship this season - five more than any other duo.
    Aleksandar Mitrovic has scored 13 goals in his last 15 Championship appearances for Fulham at Craven Cottage, netting a hat-trick in his last game there against Luton.
    Since the start of the 2017-18 season, Hull City's Jarrod Bowen has scored more Championship goals than any other player (44).


Tony Khan sends positive message to Fulham fans ahead of weekend clash

Fulham vice chairman and sporting director Tony Khan has shared an update with fans after he visited the club's training ground for a meeting with Scott Parker and others.

The Whites are looking to bounce straight back into the Premier League following their emphatic relegation last season and Khan is the man trying to orchestrate it, giving Parker the job full time before backing him in the transfer window.

Writing on his personal Instagram account on Friday afternoon, Khan said:

"It's great to be at the @fulhamfc training ground today. It's made me so happy to see the squad and the manager and the staff. It's awesome to see so many old friends, it's wonderful to be home. I'm so proud of everyone here and I love this place and this club very much. I'm very excited for tomorrow's match, and I'm looking forward to seeing many of you at the Cottage! Come on Fulham!"

Khan took up his position in February of 2017, overseeing the club's rise back into the top-flight during his first full season at Craven Cottage as Fulham beat Aston Villa in the 2018 play-off final.

That is his ambition for the current campaign as well and after bringing in the likes of Anthony Knockaert, Ivan Cavaleiro, Bobby Decordova-Reid and Josh Onomah in the summer, as well as tying Aleksandar Mitrovic down to a new deal, they have a great chance of doing just that.

This weekend sees them welcome Hull City to South West London as they look to climb back into the top-six after last weekend's draw with Middlesbrough.

But after Marek Rodak was shown a straight red card within 20 minutes, it is a point that Parker and his team should be reasonably happy with.

However, fail to beat Hull and the fans may not be as forgiving.


Byrne Looks Forward To Fulham

Assistant Head Coach Cliff Byrne says Hull City will be well prepared for the threats that Fulham will offer at Craven Cottage on Saturday and insists the Tigers will head to the Capital looking to impose their own game plan.

Fulham are amongst many people's favourites to win promotion back to the Premier League after being relegated from the top flight in May, with the Cottagers currently sitting seventh in the table. They have plenty of fire-power with the likes of Aleksandar Mitrovic, Ivan Cavaleiro and Anthony Knockaert in their ranks but Byrne is looking forward to the challenge.

"Fulham will offer us a different challenge in terms of their style of play," said Byrne.

"They're free-flowing and attacking. They like to retain possession and they have good forward players. Aleksandar Mitrovic is a handful and he's hit the goal trail with Fulham and has a knack of being in the right place at the right time, so he will be a threat.

"They have many threats, but it's important that we focus on us and what we want to go there and do.

"It's important that we go there and impose our game plan because if we're on the front foot, they'll be more concerned about us. We'll be looking at how we see opportunities that might present themselves for us to go and win the game.

"We know we'll have to be on our game, but it's one that we're planning for in terms of finding a way to win – so it's no different to last week or next week in that sense."


2 selection changes Parker should weigh up for Fulham this weekend

Fulham host Hull City in the Championship tomorrow, as Scott Parker's side look to break into the play-off places.

Only five points separate leaders West Brom and 11th-placed Birmingham City, in what's proving to be one of the tightest Championship tables we've seen in recent years.

One of those teams in the mix is Fulham. Under Scott Parker in his first full-season as a football manager, he's guided the Cottagers to a mixed start to the season and finds his side 7th going into the weekend – a point behind Bristol City.

A win could throw his team into the play-off places and all would seem well at Craven Cottage, but the visit of Grant McCann's Hull won't be an easy one by any means.

Here we take a look at two selection changes that Parker should consider for tomorrow:

Bobby Reid out, Anthony Knockaert in?

Bobby Reid was meant to be the 'next big thing' in the Championship after scoring 21 goals for Bristol City in the 2017/18, winning the Supporters' Player of the Year award and the Golden Boot – but he's since proven to be something of a one-season wonder.

A big money move to Cardiff City followed, but he failed to light-up the top-flight as Neil Warnock's side were relegated straight back down.

He played one game for the Welsh club this season before joining forces with Fulham, where he's yet to get off the mark.

In fairness, Parker has played him as part of a midfield-three on most occasions, but he played in the front-three in his side's 0-0 draw at Middlesbrough last time out.

He had little impact on the game up-top, and we could see fellow-loanee Anthony Knockaert reclaim his spot in the Fulham front-three for the Hull game.

Harrison Reed out, Harry Arter in?

Fulham made a handful of loan signings in the summer and here's another two.

Harrison Reed joined from Southampton and Harry Arter from Bournemouth. Reed has forced his way into the side having only made his first start for the club at the end of August, keeping Arter on the bench for much of the campaign.

He's now started seven of the last nine for Fulham in the league, but Parker may feel the time to give the more experienced Arter a run-out in the side.

Arter is actually Parker's brother-in-law but despite the connections, he's used Arter sporadically in recent weeks.

He began the season as the preferred choice but quickly made way for Reed, and wasn't named in the match day squads at all for the last two games against Boro and Luton.

Fulham have lacked a bit of steel in midfield of late and we could well see Arter rejoin the fray this weekend – his experience at this level will be a huge plus for Parker over the course of the season.


3 in, 3 out: The Fulham XI that fans will surely want to see against Hull this weekend

Fulham host Hull City in the Championship, as Scott Parker's side look for a win to take them into the top-six.

Just a point and a place behind Bristol City in 6th, Fulham will want nothing less than a win at Craven Cottage tomorrow.

The visit of Hull will be another stern test for Scott Parker's team, with the Tigers looking for a third-straight win in the Championship after a 2-1 win at Nottingham Forest, and a 2-0 win over Derby County.

Fulham though have lost just once in their last nine outings, and will be the favourites going into the weekend.

There'll be plenty to ponder ahead of the game, and here we take a look at the likely eleven that Parker will field tomorrow:

With Marek Rodak suspended for the game tomorrow after seeing red against Middlesbrough last weekend, Marcus Bettinelli will start in goal for the Cottagers.

Fulham have fielded a 4-3-3 formation for their last few games, and Parker is likely to persists with it after the Luton win, and a credible 0-0 draw at Boro having played much of the game with ten-men.

Expect to see an unchanged back-four from the side that drew at the Riverside – Joe Bryan on the left, Dennis Odoi on the right, and Alfie Mawson with Tim Ream in the middle.

There could be a mix-up in the middle-three though.

Captain Tom Cairney will no doubt make up the left-side of that three, and Josh Onomah could make a consecutive start after being the man who Parker sacrificed in Rodak's sending off last weekend.

Harrison Reed has been the usual holding midfielder, but we could see the more experience Harry Arter come into the middle for the visit of Hull.


Fulham v Hull City: Cliff Byrne looks closer to home after threat assessment

HUll City will be wary of the "many, many threats" that today's hosts Fulham possess but assistant head coach Cliff Byrne insists the Tigers will mainly be focusing on themselves.

Two of Fulham's three league defeats have come against Stoke City and Barnsley – the two sides currently propping up the Championship table.

The Cottagers were relegated from the Premier League last season but Byrne doesn't feel that adds any pressure.

"They like to get the ball down and play free-flowing attacking football," he said.

"They've got many, many threats that we'll work on but the focus will be massively on us.

"We'll be focusing on what we want to do and how we see opportunities to go and win the game present themselves."

He added: "It's a game of football that we're looking to find a way to win and it's no different to last week or next week.

"We can't look too much into form, they've got a terrific group of players at Fulham and we know we need to be on our game."

Byrne revealed that Norbert Balogh will be sidelined for longer than anticipated after a setback with his treatment. The Hungarian sustained a calf injury in the 2-1 win at Nottingham Forest.

Hull have no other injury concerns as they head to West London with an almost-full squad.

Byrne added: "He's not reacted to the treatment as well as we would've hoped, so that may put him back another week or so. It's one we're looking at on a day-to-day basis and the physios are right on top of that.

"Norbert will be fit and ready when the medical department signs him off.

We're pleased to have a fit and healthy squad at our disposal. We've got good options throughout the squad."


Burke: Maintain The Form

Reece Burke wants Hull City to maintain their recent form and focus when they take on Fulham this afternoon.

Grant McCann's side make the trip to Craven Cottage buoyed by back-to-back Championship wins against Nottingham Forest and Derby County and, although expecting a tough encounter against the Cottagers, Burke insists the Tigers will head to the capital with plenty of belief in their ranks.

"It's going to be another difficult game but there's no reason why we can't go there and get a result," he said.

"We're in a positive frame of mind at the moment, especially so after back-to-back wins, and the aim has to be to go there and continue that form. If we can do that then we'll give ourselves a great chance.

"We know it's going to be tough against what is a very good Fulham side. We know they are going to want a lot of the ball and play their passing game in order to cause us problems.

"The gaffer is all about the high press though and we're not going to go there and stand off them and let them try to break us down.

"We're going to go for it ourselves and try to get the three points to build on the Forest and Derby wins. We want to keep winning games."

Burke and his defensive colleagues kept a third clean sheet of the Championship campaign last time out against the Rams – and the former West Ham United man is targeting more of the same going forward.

"From a defensive point of view we were pleased with how things went last weekend because we kept a clean sheet, which is obviously important if you want to win matches," he added.

"We all know that if you keep clean sheets then you don't lose matches, so it is an important aspect of the game which we are working hard on.

"It's what we aim for every time we step onto the pitch. It was a massive lift to get the clean sheet against Derby and it was great for 'Longy'.

"Everyone in the back five worked hard and we all were delighted to keep the clean sheet to help us on our way to the three points and that will be our aim once again this afternoon."