After a frustrating set of games since the international break, Fulham will be hoping to take all three points from their final fixture before the next interval against a high-flying Coventry City side.
Despite convincing victories against Birmingham City and Swansea this month, avoidable losses against Blackpool and Reading and a frustrating away draw at Ashton Gate against Bristol City left them two points adrift of the automatic promotion spots.
This is no disaster considering they’re still in a decent position and are firmly in contention for the return to the Premier League – but their defensives performances and how clinical they are up front will determine how successful they will be this term – and will likely be the difference between a finish in the top two and a play-off scrap.
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The Cottagers may have won a spot in the top flight at the end of the 2019/20 campaign via a trip to Wembley, but at least one of AFC Bournemouth, West Brom and Sheffield United would be likely to be in the play-offs with them and any of the trio would have a chance of overcoming a very Fulham side.
Marco Silva’s men need to put promotion beyond all doubt by securing a top-two spot in May – but they can only do that by concentrating on themselves and winning their games – starting against Coventry who were beaten 5-0 at Luton in midweek and will be hoping to produce a strong reaction.
With this match kicking off at 3pm tomorrow, we have selected the Fulham lineup we think Silva will go with.
After a decent team performance at the weekend, it’s hard for us to make any changes as they look to continue from where they left off on Wednesday night. Consistency will be key, so a consistent team could be the recipe needed for success.
Paulo Gazzaniga starts in goal again as a shrewd free signing in the summer after his release from Tottenham Hotspur.
Denis Odoi also remains in the team at right-back in Kenny Tete’s absence, although the Dutchman is closing in on a return, so it will be interesting to see whether the former can retain his place after the international break.
Tim Ream and Tosin Adarabioyo continue at the heart of defence, although a solid substitute appearance from Alfie Mawson may give Marco Silva a headache throughout the 2021/22 campaign and is another capable centre-back option they can utilise.
Joe Bryan was forced off against Swansea in midweek because of a back injury, although manager Silva sounds confident about his potential return in time for tomorrow afternoon, so he is looking likely to start ahead of Antonee Robinson who has injury worries of his own.
It’s a shame Bryan has been behind Robinson in the pecking order, because he has so much to bring to this team.
Nathaniel Chalobah is one man who remains out of action with a leg issue, so the central midfield duo of Harrison Reed and Jean Michael Seri link up again, a dream pairing to have in the middle with Josh Onomah also available as a potential option to come off the bench.
Starting £12m-man Harry Wilson in the trio behind the striker is a no brainer, but there are a few options to play with for the other two spots.
Because of their victory, that requirement for consistency and Aleksandar Mitrovic’s comments on the importance of having familiar players like Neeskens Kebano and Bobby Decordova-Reid alongside him, the duo keep their spots.
Ivan Cavaleiro and summer signing Domingos Quina will be available as substitutes though and the latter will be especially keen to make his mark at Craven Cottage after not receiving a regular amount of playing time with previous club Watford at Vicarage Road.
Mitrovic keeps his spot up top to complete the lineup, although it would be good to see Rodrigo Muniz heavily involved at some point. We haven’t seen a lot of him yet – and he deserves to get his chance to shine at some point. It will be hard to displace the Serbian though.
Predicted Substitutes: Rodak, Hector, Mawson, Onomah, Quina, Cavaleiro, Muniz