Fulham travel to Derby County in the Championship tonight.
The trip to Pride Park has gained extra importance after Fulham’s embarrassment last weekend – they welcomed bottom-club Barnsley in what should’ve been a routine home win, but the Tykes claimed a 3-0 victory.
It’s reopened the gap to 2nd-place Leeds, and now Fulham face the uphill task of again trying to catch up with Marcelo Bielsa’s side.
For the fixture tonight, Fulham will be without several first-team players:
Terrence Kongolo played only ten-minutes of Championship football for Fulham before being sidelined for the remainder of the season with a foot injury, and he’ll likely return to Huddersfield before the season’s out to continue his rehabilitation.
Fulham’s long-term absentee this season has been Maxime Le Marchand – the Frenchman has been sidelined since November with a back-injury but is this month closing in on a return to first-team action.
He’ll no doubt play a few games with the development squad before his return, but with Kongolo out, Le Marchand could have a part to play in the season finale.
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Also expected to miss out tonight is Harrison Reed. The Southampton man has been suffering from a recurring calf injury and has missed a month-and-a-half of action for Fulham.
He’s been a good player this season and his return is also expected in the next couple of weeks, and that again will be a huge boost for Parker.
Derby will be a really tough game tonight – they’ll be right up for it having seen what Barnsley did last week, and another poor performance could put Parker in hot water.