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ON THE RADAR | FULHAM

The lowdown on tonight's opponents at Craven Cottage

23 October 2019

As the Hatters travel to face Fulham in the Sky Bet Championship this evening, here’s all you need to know about our opponents.

After relegation back into the Championship this season, the Cottagers are hoping to go straight back up under manager Scott Parker.

They’re currently on course to achieving that very feat, with just three losses from their first 12 league games this season.

Sitting three points adrift from the play-off places after last night's matches, the league’s fourth highest goalscorers will aim to get back to winning ways having lost 2-0 against Stoke on Saturday.

THE MANAGER – Scott Parker

Scott Parker took the hotseat at Fulham after the dismissal of Claudio Ranieri in January 2019. At the time, his role was caretaker manager but he impressed sufficiently to be named permanent head coach prior to the final game of last season.

So far this campaign, have been particularly dangerous in-front of goal as they search for an immediate return to the Premier League.

Parker was well known to Fulham fans before taking the manager job, as he spent four years from 2013 playing for the Cottagers. His playing days also saw him play for Charlton Athletic, Chelsea, Newcastle United, West Ham United and Tottenham.

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THE ONES TO WATCH

Fulham are currently the fourth highest goalscorers in the Championship and they have an abundance of attacking flair and creativity within their ranks.

Their midfield general, influencer and captain Tom Cairney (pictured below) is without doubt one to watch, as he looks to pull the strings and score the goals once again.

With five goals and three assists this season, the 28-year-old has been the leading force in every good the Cottagers have done.

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Usually, his passes find the feat or head of Alexsandar Mitrovic – who is the Championship’s joint-top goalscorer so far with eight goals.

The Serbian international amassed 11 goals in 37 Premier League matches last season and is near-on that feat after just 11 matches so far this season.

Winger Ivan Cavaleiro is yet another dangerman the Hatters need to be aware of, as he too has hit the grounding running in the Championship this season.

He has four goals and three assists to his name since moving to Craven Cottage on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers.

HISTORY

Champions of the Football League Division One in 2001, Fulham also won Division Two twice in 1949 and 1999, and Division 3 once back in 1932.

More recently, the Cottagers reached the UEFA Europa League final in 2010 but narrowly lost 2-1 to Atletico Madrid.

In the 2017/18 Championship season, Fulham beat Aston Villa 1-0 at Wembley in the play-off final to gain promotion into the Premier League (pictured below).

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THE GROUND

One of few proper old-fashioned football grounds left in the country, Craven Cottage has been the place Fulham call home ever since 1896.

The 25,000 capacity ground has this season undergone redevelopment to its Riverside Stand, but once held a crowd of over double that capacity in 1938, for a Division Two match against Millwall.

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THE STATS

• This match will be the first meeting between the two sides in almost 20 years as Fulham ran out 3-0 winners in an FA Cup third round replay in December 1999.
• Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic is the league’s joint top goalscorer with eight goals, whilst Luton’s top scorer is James Collins with five.
• Midfielder Ryan Tunnicliffe spent three years at Fulham before moving to Millwall in 2017. This is the second time this season he has faced a former club.
• Malcolm Macdonald signed for the Hatters from Fulham in 1969, going on to score 58 times in 101 games.
• In their last five matches, Luton and Fulham have both claimed two wins.


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