Fulham face Middlesbrough in the Championship tomorrow, as Scott Parker’s side look to break into the play-off places.
Scott Parker was a happy man on Wednesday night.
Aleksandar Mitrovic scored his first hat-trick in English football to take his side to 7th in the Championship, level on points with Preston in 6th.
The Cottagers travel to Middlesbrough tomorrow to face Joanthan Woodgate’s side.
Boro have endured a tough start to the season, and are becoming increasingly at risk of falling into the relegation zone with just one win from their last nine Championship games, and only one point separating them from Huddersfield in 22nd.
It’ll still make for a hard-fought affair for Fulham though, and here we take a look at two decisions that Parker will have to make before tomorrow’s fixture.
Sticking with Marek Rodak in goal
The Luton win midweek saw 22-year-old Marek Rodak start in goal for Fulham.
The Slovakian keeper was a part of the Fulham youth set-up and has been with the club since 2013.
He’s had loan-spells with Welling and Accrington Stanley but has had his breakthrough in the last two seasons, where he’d been the number one on-loan at Rotherham United.
Starting in a tough home fixture against Luton, Rodak impressed fans who were excited to see him in action for the club, and are keen to see some more of the youngster.
Marcus Bettinelli was dropped in favour of Rodak, and Parker faces a big decision in sticking with Rodak for the trip to Boro.
Sticking with 4-3-3
Many believe that Fulham have the best overall squad in the Championship but after 13 games of the season, Parker has received mixed reviews.
Parker is still learning the tactical side of management, and switched things up for the visit of Luton in the week in hope of a win.
In his side’s weekend defeat to Stoke, Fulham lined-up in an unfamiliar 3-4-1-2 formation and looked as weak going forward as they have been all season. But in the win over Luton, played a much simpler, and much more effective 4-3-3.
Parker’s main criticism this year is that he doesn’t know the best set-up for his side, but perhaps he found it midweek.
Goals against remains a problem for Fulham, but their attacking display against Luton was one of their best under Parer, and expect him to deploy the same formation tomorrow.