Premier League Preview: Fulham v West Brom

The Cottagers find themselves rooted to the bottom of the table with just one point from six games, with rivals West Brom only faring slightly better with three points on the board

Fulham boss Scott Parker has confirmed no new injury worries ahead of this game with Kenny Tete, Josh Onomah and Neeskens Kebano all ruled out.

Aboubakar Kamara will also miss out through suspension but Harrison Reed and Joe Bryan should both be in line to return.

For the Baggies, Slaven Bilic is still without Hal Robson-Kanu, as the Welsh international continues his recovery from a broken arm, but Irish defender Dara O’Shea is back fit to return.

The Croatian boss was pleased with their draw against Brighton last time out, but he could look to recall Callum Robinson and Kyle Bartley in West London.

And it will be a 5.30pm kick off on Monday night at Craven Cottage.

Parker admits his future is out of his hands

The Cottagers have endured a torrid run since earning promotion back to the Premier League at the first attempt, taking just one point and conceding 14 goals in their first six games.

An opening day thrashing by Arsenal was followed by further defeats to Leeds, Aston Villa and Wolves, while Parker’s side were also humbled by Brentford in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup.

While a 1-1 draw against fellow strugglers Sheffield United last weekend offered brief respite and at least saw Fulham get a point on the board, the losing resumed on Saturday as goals from Jairo Riedewald and Wilfried Zaha saw Crystal Palace emerge 2-1 winners at Craven Cottage.

After spending plenty of cash in the transfer market, questions over Parker’s future were put to the rookie manager after the defeat to Palace, but he says he will front up and keep trying to get the results his side deserve to turn their slump around.

Crystal Palace seal battling 2-1 Premier League win at Fulham

Jairo Reidewald and Wilf Zaha secured all three points for Roy Hodgson’s side and despite Tom Cairney’s late consolation the Eagles held on for the win.

Fulham bossed the opening stages but Scott Parker’s side struggled to carve out any clear cut chances.

And with the hosts unable to make their early pressure count Palace edged themselves in front through Reidewald.

Zaha led the Palace counterattack from inside his own half and after Alphonse Areola saved his driven effort, Riedewald reacted quickest to clip home the rebound.

Fulham reacted well to that setback but Alexander Mitrovic wasted an excellent chance to equalise.

Ademola Lookman’s strike rebound back off Vicente Guaita’s post but the Serbian made a mess of the ricochet to fire over the bar.

Parker’s side did look to tiptoe their way into the game after the break but their lack of cutting edge were ruthlessly punished by Zaha.

Andros Townsend’s pass in behind found Michy Batshuayi in space and his square ball was slid home by the Ivory Coast international.

And with Fulham heading for a sixth winless Premier League game substitute Aboubakar Kamara was shown a straight red card for a lunge at Eberechi Eze.

The Cottagers did salvage some pride in added time skipper Cairney fired past Guaita but there was no time for a late rally.

Full time at Craven Cottage it’s Fulham 1 Crystal Palace 2

Fulham make surprising squad omissions

Scott Parker has decided to leave out 4 midfielders, including club-record signing Jean Michael Seri.

Seri signed for the Cottagers in 2018 from Ligue 1 side Nice, in a deal believed to be worth in the region of £25m.

The Ivory Coast international had been interesting Inter Milan in the summer but remained at Craven Cottage.

The other players omitted from the squad list perhaps surprisingly include Josh Onomah, Kevin McDonald and Stefan Johansen, who have played their part in helping Fulham to promotion to the Premier League over the past two years.

None of those players are carrying injuries, so it seems it is purely a tactical decision from the Cottagers.

With Fulham currently bottom of the Premier League table with just a point from their opening five matches, it remains to be seen if those choices pay off.

Fulham lose again in 1-0 defeat at Wolves

Scott Parker’s side are yet to pick up a point on their top-flight return, but Nuno Santo will be relieved to see own his side end a two-game losing streak.

The Cottagers were bright in the opening stages, as full back Antonee Robinson tested Rui Patricio.

But the hosts slowly began to gain control as the first half wore on with Alphonse Areola denying Pedro Neto and Nelson Semedo.

Wolves picked up that momentum again after the break, as Areola produced another vital stop, this time from Raul Jimenez.

But with his teammates unable to do much to offer protection, Areola was unable to do anything about Neto’s opener.

The visitors had three chances to clear their lines inside the box and Neto pounced on the loose ball to fire home.

Fulham did show some life in the final minutes, as Patricio saved from Neeksens Kebano, but another defeat means it will be another difficult week for Parker.

FULL TIME AT MOLINEUX IT’S WOLVES 1 FULHAM 0

Premier League Preview: Fulham v Aston Villa

Scott Parker’s side have endured a tough return to the top-flight, with defeats against Arsenal and Leeds in the last fortnight.

The home side are in strong need of a positive result, and Parker should be boosted by a fully fit squad to pick from.

Bobby Decordova-Reid and Neeskens Kebano both impressed off the bench against Leeds and could add some much-needed freshness to the Cottagers.

Villa have fared much better in the opening weeks of the campaign, with three wins in league and Carabao Cup action.

Dean Smith also has no fresh injuries to cope with, but he is set to make changes for this game.

After changing his entire side for the midweek cup win at Bristol City, Smith will recall his big guns for the trip to the capital, with Tyrone Mings, Jack Grealish and John McGinn all coming back in.

Kick off is 5.15 on Monday night at Craven Cottage.

Fulham linked with Leicester City midfielder Daniel Amartey

Scott Parker’s side are short on Premier League experience and following back to back defeats in the opening two games, he is still looking to strengthen.

Amartey has barely featured for the Foxes under Brendan Rodgers, with no top-flight football in over 14 months at the King Power Stadium.

Understandably the Ghanaian international is rumoured to be keen on leaving Leicester in the coming weeks, with reports from Football Insider claiming Fulham can complete a deal in the region of £5m.

Leeds edge out Fulham in a 4-3 Premier League thriller at Elland Road

The Whites picked up where they left off at Liverpool last weekend, as goals from Helder Costa, Mateusz Klich and Patrick Bamford sealed the three points, despite a late fight back from Scott Parker’s team.

Despite having no fans to roar them on a historic day in West Yorkshire, the home side flew out of the blocks, and Costa fired them in front on five minutes.

Kalvin Phillips’ corner was helped on at the front post, and with Fulham unable to clear their lines, Costa bulleted home the loose ball.

Leeds dominated the rest of the first half but were pegged back against the run of play on 34 minutes, as Aleksandar Mitrovic slotted home from the penalty spot.

However, that reprieve didn’t last long for the visitors as Klich confidently tucked home his own spot kick just before the break.

Bielsa side motored on after the restart, as Bamford put them into a quick fire 3-1 lead.

Klich’s through ball split the Fulham defence, and the former Chelsea man strode on and fired netted past Alphonse Areola.

And with Leeds’ confidence flowing all over the pitch, Costa added a brilliant fourth a few minutes later.

Bamford’s hard work hustled Kenny Tete off the ball put wide, and his neat ball found the onrushing Costa to crash home his second of game.

But despite being three goals behind, Fulham refused to lie down and Bobby De Cordova-Reid’s strike hauled them back into it.

Mitrovic then began to cause more and more problems for Leeds, and the Serbian got away from Liam Cooper to power home Tete’s cross.

With the balance of the game now completely swung in their favour, Fulham pushed and pushed for an equaliser in the final 20 minutes.

Neeskens Kebano hit a post as the Cottagers pressed, and Mitrovic forced a fine stop from Illan Meslier, but in the end, Leeds had enough to clinch a first Premier League win more than a decade.

FULL TIME AT ELLAND ROAD IT’S LEEDS 4 FULHAM 3

Fulham keen on Kongolo return

The Dutch international joined the Cottagers last season on a six-month loan, but struggled with a foot injury and made just two appearances as Fulham achieved promotion via the playoffs.

But manager Scott Parker saw enough of the versatile defender to want to sign him again, and Huddersfield are willing to sell as they need to raise cash.

Kongolo made 32 appearances in the Premier League, although was powerless to stop the Terriers from being relegated. He is also Huddersfield’s record signing, after arriving at the John Smith’s stadium for £25m from Monaco in 2018.

Still only 25, Kongolo can play centre-back or left-back, and that versatility could come in handy as Parker’s side aim to avoid relegation this season.

They play fellow promoted side Leeds this weekend, and Aleksandar Mitrovic is in line for his first league start after scoring the only goal in Fulham’s Carabao Cup win over Ipswich on Wednesday night.

Arsenal cruise to 3-0 win at Premier League new boys Fulham

The hosts showed flashes of promise, but goals from Alexandre Lacazette, Gabriel Magalaes and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang secured all three points for the Gunners.

Both sides had their fans wincing in the opening stages with dodgy defending, but it was Arsenal that broke the deadlock on eight minutes.

Pinball inside the Fulham box caused panic for the home side, but Lacazette kept his cool to scramble home the scruffiest of opening goals.

That defensive horror show looked to rattle Fulham, and they were fortunate not to be two goals behind at the break, as Brazilian international Willian rattled the post from a free kick.

And with the shell shocked hosts unable to react, Gabriel helped himself to a debut goal just after the restart.

That ended any slim chance of a possible Fulham fight back, but their top-flight return would not be complete without an goal from Aubameyang.

Willian found himself in space on the hour mark, his through ball left the Fulham defence standing and Aubameyang raced on and on to fire past Marek Rodak.

Parker threw on Aleksandar Mitrovic in the closing stages, and despite the Serbian testing Bernd Leno late on, Parker knows his side will need to improve dramatically for the long road ahead.

FULL TIME AT CRAVEN COTTAGE IT’S FULHAM 0 ARSENAL 3

Arsenal cruise to 3-0 win at Premier League new boys Fulham

The hosts showed flashes of promise, but goals from Alexandre Lacazette, Gabriel Magalaes and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang secured all three points for the Gunners.

Both sides had their fans wincing in the opening stages with dodgy defending, but it was Arsenal that broke the deadlock on eight minutes.

Pinball inside the Fulham box caused panic for the home side, but Lacazette kept his cool to scramble home the scruffiest of opening goals.

That defensive horror show looked to rattle Fulham, and they were fortunate not to be two goals behind at the break, as Brazilian international Willian rattled the post from a free kick.

And with the shell shocked hosts unable to react, Gabriel helped himself to a debut goal just after the restart.

That ended any slim chance of a possible Fulham fight back, but their top-flight return would not be complete without an goal from Aubameyang.

Willian found himself in space on the hour mark, his through ball left the Fulham defence standing and Aubameyang raced on and on to fire past Marek Rodak.

Parker threw on Aleksandar Mitrovic in the closing stages, and despite the Serbian testing Bernd Leno late on, Parker knows his side will need to improve dramatically for the long road ahead.

FULL TIME AT CRAVEN COTTAGE IT’S FULHAM 0 ARSENAL 3

Fulham land PSG keeper Alphonse Areola on loan

The Premier League newcomers also hold an option to make the 27-year-old France international’s move permanent.

Areola told FFCtv: “I am very happy everything is done.

“Scott Parker (Fulham manager) called me and I had a good feeling. He said he really wanted me.

“Fulham is a historic club in London and I have heard a lot about the stadium.

“I hope this season will be a good one for us. I want to bring my energy and do everything for this team to keep us where we belong to be.”

Areola has made over 100 appearances for Paris St Germain since making his debut in 2013 and was a member of France’s World Cup-winning squad in 2018.

He spent last season on loan at Real Madrid, where he picked up a LaLiga winner’s medal.

Fulham sporting director Tony Khan said: “I’m thrilled to welcome Alphonse Areola to our Fulham family.

“Alphonse has experience at the very highest level, as he’s played in France’s national team, won the league title with PSG, had success at RC Lens, Bastia and with Villarreal, and most recently he played for Real Madrid as they won LaLiga last season.

“We’re excited that he’s joining us, and he’ll be an excellent addition to our squad for our Premier League campaign ahead.”