Predicted Fulham XI to face Crystal Palace: Who should start for the Cottagers?
Fulham welcome Crystal Palace at Craven Cottage for their opening match of the season, having returned to the English top-flight after four years.
Fulham have had a decent summer. Ahead of the transfer deadline, manager Slavisa Jokanovic has made a number of signings. Jean-Michael Seri and Maxime Le Marchand have joined from Nice. In addition, the Cottagers have also wrapped up deals for Fabri, Andre Schurrle (on loan), Aleksandar Mitrovic, Alfie Mawson and Calum Chambers (on loan).
Fulham have lost three of their six pre-season friendlies, winning just once. Nevertheless, the club must now focus on the Premier League and below is how Fulham could line up against Crystal Palace.
Predicted Fulham XI
Manager: Slavisa Jokanovic
After an impressive season in the Championship, Marcus Bettinelli was Fulham’s No.1, heading into the new season. However, the club had to sign Fabri following Bettinelli’s injury in pre-season. Hence, the experienced keeper should find himself between the sticks against Palace.
Cyrus Christie (RB)
Ryan Fredericks’ departure earlier this summer and Denis Odoi’s suspension means January signing Christie should get the nod to start at right-back.
Calum Chambers (CB)
Chambers must work towards establishing himself as Tim Ream’s partner in the Cottagers’ defence, as fellow summer arrival Alfie Mawson is recovering from a knee injury. Mawson may not feature for his new side until September and the England U21 international should grab his chance to impress.
Tim Ream (CB)
Ream was brilliant for Fulham last season and should certainly start at centre-back against Roy Hodgson’s Palace.
Ryan Sessegnon (LB)
The Fulham wonder kid prefers playing further up the pitch, operating as a winger. Regardless, he might feature at left-back with Schurrle in the picture.
Kevin McDonald (CDM)
Kevin McDonald should continue in his anchor role for Fulham this season. He worked admirably for the Londoners in the previous campaign, providing the back four with adequate cover and support.
Tom Cairney (CM)
Tom Cairney is Fulham’s talisman and captain. He should play in the central midfield area against Palace and grasp his chance to shine in the Premier League.
Jean-Michael Seri (CM)
Seri must replace Stefan Johansen in the midfield for the opening game. The former Nice man is a solid box-to-box midfielder and he must Fulham’s defence to their attack. His vision and passing range should cause a lot of problems for the opposition.
Aboubakar Kamara (RW)
The Frenchman is one of Fulham’s trusted lieutenants since joining last summer. Kamara could operate out on the right against Palace, with Schurrle holding the left-hand side.
Andre Schurrle (LW)
Schurrle has a lot of experience both in the Premier League and at an international level. He should start on the left but he might swap positions with Kamara during the game, adding a sense of unpredictability to Fulham’s attack.
Aleksandar Mitrovic (CF)
The 23-year-old should certainly lead the line for Fulham’s opening day this season. Mitrovic’s hold-up play is vital for the way Fulham play and his presence in the opposition box could see him scoring goals.