Fulham travel to Derby County in the Championship tomorrow.
Scott Parker needs nothing less than a win at Pride Park. After so much hard-work and good performances through December and January, Fulham had managed to get back on level points with Leeds United in 2nd.
Another loss will put huge pressure on Parker, and here’s two selection changes that he may be considering for tomorrow’s fixture:
Josh Onomah out – Stefan Johansen in
The 22-year-old Onomah has been a favourite of Parker’s this season. He’s gradually become a regular member of the first-team and has now played 23 times in the Championship this season.
He’s only missed one of the last 18 for Fulham and has started the majority of those, but his performance last week received a lot of criticism from fans.
Though he’s a powerful, box-to-box type midfielder, he’s still young and relatively inexperienced – going into what’s become a higher-pressure game, a better option may be Stefan Johansen. The Norway international was an unsung hero for Fulham earlier in the campaign and fans would likely welcome him back into the starting side.
Johansen was himself a regular starter for Fulham in the first-half of the season but has seen his place go to Onomah, and hasn’t started a league game since New Year’s Day. He’s a good passer of the ball but he’s not as physical a midfielder as Onomah, so it’ll be one for Parker to mull over before tomorrow night
Knockaert out – Reid in
Either Anthony Knockaert or Ivan Cavaleiro could lose their starting spot to Bobby Reid at Derby, but with Cavaleiro now being a permanent figure, Knockaert will likely be dropped to the bench.
Fulham’s front-three were as bad as they have been all season against Barnsley and Knockaert once again gave an uninspiring performance. He’d recently returned from injury though, and with Cavaleiro playing a lot of football since New Year, it could in fact be him that sits this one out.
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But Cavaleiro remains the more likely to score a goal, and Reid, despite going through some mis-firing form himself has proven more prolific than Knockaert this season. An experienced pro at this level though, as are all three mentioned above, Knockaert might have been ‘warming up’ against Barnsley after a couple of weeks out and could well deliver tomorrow night.
Fans would love to see a performance from him – he’s a player with proven Championship experience with two promotions from this league, but the 28-year-old seems to be on a steady decline.