Fulham Preview v Brighton

A first trip outside of London is on the menu for Saturday afternoon, as the squad travel down to the South Coast to play Brighton at the Amex stadium.

Two wins in three days has created an air of positivity around the club, with their first win in the Premier league since April 2014 followed up by victory over Exeter City in the league cup on Tuesday night.

The result against Burnley was particularly impressive, not only beating the club that last year finished 7th, but scoring four goals in the process. As in the first two games Jean Michael Seri was outstanding, with his breath-taking 25 yard strike in the fourth minute setting the tone for another imperious midfield performance. Mitrovic was a constant handful up front for Tarkowski and Mee, and he could easily have had a hat trick on a day he scored two goals in as many minutes. Andre Schurrle was also lively with his dribbling and link up play, and was rewarded for his fine display with an 83rd minute strike to seal the three points. The 25 shots and two-thirds of possession displayed their dominance, and Jokanovic said it showed “we could be a brave and attacking team”, but was keen to explain that there is a “huge job is still ahead of us.”

A comfortable victory over League 2 opposition was further beneficial for creating momentum, allowing for fringe players to impress and of course staying in the cup. A double for Kamara means he will be in the managers thoughts for a starting berth at the weekend, and someone that will likely start is £20 million signing Alfie Mawson who helped the side keep a clean sheet on his delayed debut due to injury.

Looking at the opposition, Brighton are a club hoping to avoid second season syndrome. They have spent over £70 million on new signings to help with this, but their core from last season of Ryan, Dunk, Gross and Murray are still invaluable to the clubs chances. Their home record is of upmost importance to their survival, with it being the 8th best in the league last year, compared to their away form being the worst out of all 20 clubs. This has already continued into the new season, with an impressive 3-2 win over giants Manchester United in their first home game.

Fulham will again be likely to dominate possession in the contest, so must create a quick tempo like in the Burnley game to break down a solid Brighton unit. The midfield must try and prevent the creative genius of Gross, whilst Fosu-Mensah and Bryan must be wary of the threat from out wide of their tricky wingers such as Knockaert, March and Jahanbakhsh.

Predicted starting line-up: Bettinelli, Fosu-Mensah, Mawson, Le Marchand, Bryan, Seri, McDonald, Cairney, Sessegnon, Mitrovic, Schurrle.

Predicted score: 1-1

 

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