Fulham continue to search for a winning run after falling foul of yet another late equaliser at the Cottage against Middlesbrough at the weekend. The opportunity to bounce back, however, comes quickly, as the Whites travel to the City Ground to face Nottingham Forest on Tuesday night.
Forest sit one point above Fulham in the Championship table, but with a significantly worse goal difference, and a record of four losses in the last five does not bode well for a Reds side that struggled in the last campaign.
Whilst many predicted that they would be in big trouble with the loss of top scorer and talisman Britt Assombalonga, the astute signing of Daryl Murphy, outcast at Newcastle United, has proved to be a good bit of business and the Irish striker has started the season in good form, scoring 5 of the Tricky Trees’ 12 league goals already this campaign.
That said, Forest look leaky at the back, and Fulham need to use this opportunity to address their own misfiring forward line. With Aboubakar Kamara getting off the mark at the weekend, don’t be surprised to see Slavisa give the divisive striker a start on Tuesday as he looks to terrify a Forest back line which has already conceded 15 goals.
Whilst Murphy is the man to watch up front, Fulham have looked better at the back this year, and Ream and Kalas dealt admirably with the potent threat of Assombalonga, now at Boro, at the weekend; although the sloppy goal at the end from a corner will not have pleased the gaffer.
Forest are a good side, but will be there for the taking if Fulham show up and start to put away some of the chances that have been begging to be finished across the last few games. An away trip with little pressure might just be the tonic that the Whites need, as they continue to struggle with the absence of childhood Forest fan Tom Cairney.
Last 5 Championship Results:
- L: Aston Villa 2-1 Nottingham Forest
- L: Nottingham Forest 1-2 Wolverhampton Wanderers
- W: Sunderland 0-1 Nottingham Forest
- L: Sheffield Wednesday 3-1 Nottingham Forest
- L: Nottingham Forest 0-2 Leeds United
Fulhamish’s Starting Line-Up:
We have a funny feeling that Slavisa is going to shake things up a little bit, and we’re predicting that we might see something like this as Fulham push for the goals which just haven’t started to flow yet this season.
Matt Mills v Rui Fonte
Whether Fonte starts up front in the 9 role or slightly withdrawn behind Kamara, there can be no doubt that in the absence of Cairney, he is the man Fulham fans will be looking to, in order to drive the team to victory. His performance against two very capable centre-halves at the weekend was nothing to be sneered at, and as he gels with those around him, Fonte has the potential to become a very useful player for Fulham.
He faces another tough ask though, as Forest captain Matt Mills stands in his way at the City Ground. A fan favourite, Mills is not the most technical of operators, but is a true leader at the heart of Forest’s back line, with plenty of experience from a journeyman career across England.
Fonte has the ability to get the better of Mills, but needs to get his mark in early; and if he can win the duel in the Forest danger areas, Fulham will have their best shot of getting three points.
We live in hope. 2-0 Fulham.
Don’t forget to listen to next Monday’s episode of Fulhamish for all the reaction to this game and Friday’s short trip to Queens Park Rangers , and make sure that you’re subscribed on one of the following platforms.