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Scott Parker will have been delighted with the manner in which Fulham claimed their 1-0 away victory at Birmingham City last weekend, with Aleksandar Mitrovic’s solitary strike proving the difference between the two sides.
The win meant that the Cottagers closed the gap on the play-off places to two points, meaning it is fair to say that the west London club have performed well but still have room for improvement in some areas.
One particular blow which will give Parker something to think about is the fact that Mitrovic picked up a booking during the game at St Andrew’s, meaning that the Serbian international will be missing for the West London derby against QPR, when both teams return from the international break.
The absence of their top scorer obviously leaves the former West Ham midfielder with a decision to make on who to start up top against their city rivals.
Which striker should start for Fulham against QPR?
The choices are limited to just two, with Aboubakar Kamara and Bobby Reid being the only other recognised strikers within the Fulham squad, leaving Parker with a dilemma.
The most likely candidate to get the nod for the game against QPR is Reid, with the ex-Bristol City man capable of operating as a lone striker, whereas Kamara in comparison thrives more off playing in a front two.
Bringing Reid into the lone striking role will allow Fulham to have an outlet from which they can play through, with the 26-year-old capable of dropping deep to link the play, whilst also having the pace to make runs in behind the opposition defence.
Reid has so far failed to get off the mark for the Whites since arriving at Craven Cottage during the summer, and this upcoming fixture would provide the ideal opportunity for the striker to make a good impression in the lone striking berth.
He should get some joy against a R’s defence that has been prone to conceding goals on the counter-attack in more recent times, with the likes of Toni Leistner and Geoff Cameron lacking any real pace, meaning that the ball in behind will always be a good option for Fulham’s midfielders to play for Reid.
Although Reid is able to create chances for himself, Parker will also be keen for his more advanced midfielders and, in turn, his wingers to support the lone frontman by positioning themselves close to the 26-year-old, as this will help to create overloads for the Whites in the final third.
It will certainly be interesting to see how the Cottagers cope without the services of Mitrovic, with the 25-year-old having proved crucial for the west Londoners so far.