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Preview: Fulham v Blues

We know we have to go there and compete and be ourselves and try to get ourselves into a position to get something.

Pep Clotet

Our full match preview ahead of Saturday's Sky Bet Championship fixture between Fulham and Blues at Craven Cottage (3pm kick-off).

Pep Clotet's reflections on the Huddersfield defeat...
"Overall, it was a bad result and a bad game for us on Wednesday and we were bad in both boxes. In all three games (since the return of football) we've had some ups and downs. Against West Brom we were very solid, and we managed to not make mistakes and be in the game and secure a good result. Against Hull we had a very good second-half after a poor start, and we had a bad start on Wednesday. We've had two or three bad games this season and the team has always bounced back, and we hope to do that at Fulham."

Pep Clotet on the possibility of freshening his side up against Fulham...
"I think it's important to take into account the number of minutes we've played in the last few games, especially up front for us because we don't have many options and it's important to remember there are more games next week. These are things that you consider. But the good thing is that everyone is willing to give their best for the team."

Pep Clotet on his disappointment at not being able to use former loanees Odin Bailey, Charlie Lakin or Josh Dacres-Cogley with his squad being so light...
"We are not allowed to us them – the EFL has created a rule that it is virtually impossible for clubs to use those players. When I read the rules, I thought we could use them, then we had to notify the league and they came back to us that we cannot use them. They should have saved a lot of time and effort for people in the club. We are professionals trying to do the best for our teams – and they should have saved us the effort and just basically don’t come up with resolutions we can’t use. I supported the regulation until we tried to put it in place, and we saw that well, it is impossible."

Pep Clotet on how his side have often performed better against the promotion-chasing sides...
"I'm always confident and always positive in expecting performances from our team. But we need to go there and defend and get forward well and we have our weapons. Away from home we've been in good form. In the end it's up to how you start the game and how you compete in the game for 90 minutes. We need to hope that tomorrow we are better than them and we can get the three points. We'll look to compete at Fulham as we did at West Brom. Fulham will likely have a lot of possession, so we need to be very organised and aware of their threats and try to maximise their weaknesses. Our players want to put things right. They understand the game well. We know it's going to be a difficult game because it's not easy to go to Fulham and win. But we know we have to go there and compete and be ourselves and try to get ourselves into a position to get something."

Pep Clotet asked how much of a loss striker Aleksandar Mitrovic will be to Fulham because of suspension...
"They have a really good squad with a lot of Premier League experience and that will help them. He played very well against us in the first game, but they have plenty of other options on the pitch. They are a team that are properly set up to chase for promotion with depth and quality."

Fulham manager Scott Parker's comments ahead of the game...
"It’s a massive opportunity for us. It’s another game that comes thick and fast after a positive result on Tuesday. Even before these circumstances this league was very unpredictable at times, and anyone could beat anyone, and that’s the case even more so now when you look at it. There’s no doubt that Birmingham bring their threats. They have certain qualities, so we’ll be fully aware of that. Every game is a tough one, certainly in this division, as clichéd as that sounds. We’re looking forward to the weekend, it’s a big game for us, one we’re going into wanting to win to make it two on the bounce. We’re positive about it coming off a good result on Tuesday, so hopefully we can get the job done.”

Blues team news...
Nico Gordon and Geraldo Bajrami have recovered from their respective knocks and are available to travel if selected. Pep Clotet has indicated that he may look to freshen up his side if possible. Josh McEachran is still recovering from his knee injury.

Fulham team news...
Aleksandar Mitrovic is suspended for the game. Aboubakar Kamara is doubtful because of injury.

Last five meetings between Fulham and Blues...
Championship 09 Nov 2019 Blues 0 Fulham 1
Championship 06 May 2018 Blues 3 Fulham 1
Championship 09 Dec 2017 Fulham 1 Blues 0
Championship 04 Feb 2017 Blues 1 Fulham 0
Championship 10 Sep 2016 Fulham 0 Blues 1

Total meetings between Fulham and Blues...
Fulham wins: 29
Draws: 28
Blues wins: 34

Form guide last five Championship games...
Fulham: WDLLW
Blues: DLDDL

Line-ups last game...
QPR v Fulham: Rodak, Christie, Hector, Ream, Odoi, Cairney (McDonald, 90), Reed, Arter (Onomah, 70); Cavaleiro (Steven Sessegnon, 90), De Cordova-Reid (Le Marchand,79), Knockaert (Bryan, 70)
Subs (not used): Bettinelli, Johansen, De La Torre, Jasper

Blues v Huddersfield Town: Camp, Pedersen, Dean, Clarke-Salter, Colin, Bellingham, G Gardner, Crowley, Bela, Hogan, Jutkiewicz.
Subs (not used): Trueman, Harding, Roberts, Burke, Sunjic, Kieftenbeld, Boyd-Munce, Stirk, Reid.

BluesTV...
Fans can watch the match LIVE with a game pass, to buy a match pass for only £10 click here.

Match officials...
Referee Keith Stroud will take charge of Saturday's game at Craven Cottage. So far this season the Hampshire-based official has refereed 28 games, where he has produced a total of 88 yellow cards, three reds and awarded four penalties. The last Blues game he refereed was our Championship away game at Bristol City in February. Blues won that match 3-1 and no players from either side were cautioned. Mr Stroud has refereed 20 Blues games in total, with Blues winning six of them, drawing seven and losing seven. The last Fulham game he took charge of was their Championship away fixture at Preston in December 2019. Fulham lost that game 2-1 and there were five players booked and two sent off in that game. Josh Onomah was cautioned for the Cottagers, with Denis Odoi receiving a straight red. He has refereed 16 Fulham games during his career, with the Cottagers winning seven, drawing four and losing five. Mr Stroud will be assisted on Saturday by Darren Blunden and Robert Merchant, with Craig Hicks acting as the fourth official.

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