Predicted Fulham XI to face Manchester United in the Premier League
The Cottagers are currently bottom of the table in the relegation zone and they will be desperate to get something out of the game when they make the trip to Old Trafford to face Manchester United on Saturday.
Fulham have made a good start to life under Claudio Ranieri with a win and a draw in recent weeks and they should take heart from the fact that United have drawn their last three games in the Premier League against Southampton, Crystal Palace and Arsenal.
Fulham will be without the services of Floyd Ayite who is ruled out with a groin strain while Kevin McDonald is struggling with a hamstring injury and is unlikely to feature on Saturday.
Manager: Claudio Ranieri
1. Sergio Rico (GK)
The Spaniard made some good saves in the last game and has established himself as a reliable presence between the sticks.
2. Maxime Le Marchand (LB)
The Frenchman has done a decent job as a left-back in recent weeks and he should continue in that position.
3. Denis Odoi (CB)
The Belgian put in a solid shift at the back against Leicester and looked comfortable with the ball at his feet.
4. Alfie Mawson (CB)
He was strong in the air and looked comfortable with the ball at his feet against Leicester and Ranieri should continue to rely on him.
5. Cyrus Christie (RB)
The Irishman has added defensive awareness to his good attacking play and he seems to be growing in confidence with each passing game.
6. Jean Michael Seri (CDM)
The Ivorian returned to form with a commanding display against the Foxes in the last game and Fulham will need him to fire at Old Trafford.
7. Calum Chambers (CDM)
The former Arsenal man showed good game reading ability in the last game and has been in good form in recent weeks.
8. Aboubakar Kamara (RW)
He will be in high spirits after netting his first goal in the Premier League in the last game.
9. Tom Cairney (CAM)
He came off the bench against Leicester and looked threatening. He is one of the in-form players for Fulham and Ranieri should hand him a start on Saturday against United.
10. Andre Schurrle (LW)
He did not feature against Leicester which is a sign that he might get a start against United.
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11. Aleksandar Mitrovic (ST)
The Serb will need to fire on all cylinders if Fulham are to have any chances of upsetting the odds at Old Trafford.
Watford would strike gold by reviving interest in this £30m Fulham ace – Here is why they should make a move
Watford Opinion: Why the Hornets should sign Zambo Anguissa from Fulham
Back in January 2018, the Sky Sports claimed Watford were interested in signing Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, who was then playing for Marseille. However, a move hadn’t materialised and the midfielder stayed put at Marseille.
Before the 2018/19 campaign commenced, Fulham broke their transfer record with the purchase of Zambo Anguissa by paying around £30m on the summer transfer deadline day. However, the move hasn’t worked well for the Cameroonian, who has managed just 17 Premier League games.
Fulham’s relegation from the Premier League has been confirmed which could see a lot of high-profile names depart from the Craven Cottage at the end of the season. Zambo Anguissa certainly will be desperate to leave the club and reignite his career elsewhere.
Watford should take full advantage of Fulham’s relegation and sign Zambo Anguissa when the transfer window re-opens in a few months’ time.
The Hornets have been a surprise package this season and currently sit ninth in the table. They are aiming for a place in Europe, with six games left in the season. However, the club could lose Abdoulaye Doucoure in the summer, with Tottenham, Liverpool, PSG and Arsenal all interested in the midfield powerhouse.
Doucoure has been a key member of Javi Gracia’s side, scoring five times and adding six assists in the Premier League so far this season. But interest in the Frenchman is massive ahead of the summer and it’ll be difficult to keep hold of him if a top European club come calling, even though he is contracted at Vicarage Road until 2023.
If Doucoure leaves Watford in the summer transfer window, Javi Gracia should replace the French midfielder with Zambo Anguissa. Anguissa is renowned for his strength and power coupled with his ability to break up of play at the base of midfield. The Cameroon international is a defensive midfielder by trade, known for his tough tackling, stamina and tireless work-rate.
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The 23-year-old protects the backline, recycles possession and is a decent distributor of the ball. Anguissa uses his strength and power to dispossess players before quickly releasing the ball to his teammate. He isn’t only about defensive diligence and tackling, the midfielder also possesses the burst of pace which he uses to burst forward from the middle of the park and help the team in the attack.
Anguissa may not be creative and a goal-threat like Doucoure is but he knows to stick to his task and help the team ticking over. A tireless midfielder, the Cameroonian would come closest to replacing Doucoure if the French star leaves Watford at the end of the season.
Leeds United would strike gold by signing this 28-year-old PL enforcer available for free to boost midfield activity
Leeds United Opinion: Peacocks should sign Stefan Johansen for free
According to The Daily Star, Leeds United are weighing up a move for Fulham midfielder Stefan Johansen in the summer, with the 28-year-old Norwegian international set to be out of contract at the end of the season.
The same report claims that Leeds are interested in signing the midfielder irrespective of where they would be playing their football next season.
Johansen moved to Craven Cottage in 2016 on the back of a fruitful spell at Celtic and set the stage on fire in the Championship with his impressive performances. The Norwegian was one of the architects of Fulham’s promotion-winning campaign in the second-tier last season, contributing with 8 goals and 9 assists from 48 appearances in the league.
However, his fortunes at west London took a complete U-turn upon Fulham’s promotion to the Premier League as he found regular minutes hard to come by. Johansen started only 4 games in the top flight earlier in the season and played a bit-part role in the first-team before being shipped out on loan to Championship outfit West Brom in January.
The 28-year-old has once again rediscovered his mojo in the second-tier with the Baggies, registering a goal and an assist from 6 appearances.
The race for the second automatic promotion spot is very delicately poised and Leeds will need the results to go their way in the remaining games if they are to avoid competing in the playoffs in a bid to end their 15-year-long absence from the Premier League.
To put things into perspective, Leeds would need to add more depth to their squad if they do manage to secure promotion to the Premier League.
While the fans at Elland Road are likely to anticipate a few marquee signings in the summer, the Peacocks would also need to acquire a few useful squad players to cope with the hectic and demanding top-flight schedule. And Stefan Johansen certainly falls in the latter bracket.
Johansen is ideally a box-to-box central midfielder who excels with his range of passing and uncompromised work-rate in the middle of the park. Strong in the tackle and adventurous in the attacking third, the Norwegian has a knack of chipping in with valuable goals and assists at crucial times.
Although he doesn’t have that much of an X-factor in his game and lacks in terms of technical abilities, he makes up for it with his dogged work ethic- cutting out attacks to win back possession and carrying the ball forward to establish a link between the midfield and the forward line. He keeps things ticking in the midfield and that is exactly what makes him a useful player.
Leeds cannot look at Johansen as a replacement for Samuel Saiz as he is doesn’t always manage to spark that creativity but an experienced head like him would provide cover and competition for the likes of Adam Forshaw, Kalvin Phillips and Mateusz Klich.
Moreover, Johansen’s experience of playing in the Europa League with Celtic might prove to be a big asset to a club like Leeds.
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Johansen failed to make much of an impact in the Premier League this season but he is the sort of player who tends to hit top gear when provided with a consistent run in the first team.
Also, it won’t be much of a gamble for Leeds to snap him up on a free transfer at the end of the season. That said, they should not hesitate to strike a deal for the Norwegian international in the summer.
Leeds United would strike gold by 28-year-old midfield enforcer from relegation-threatened PL outfit – Agreed?
Leeds United Opinion: Why Stefan Johansen will be a top fit at Elland Road?
According to a report from Birmingham Mail, Leeds United are interested in a summer swoop for Fulham midfielder Stefan Johansen, who is currently on loan at West Brom in the Championship.
The Norway international, 28, found himself largely out of favour at Fulham this season, regardless of playing a crucial role in their promotion to the Premier League. That saw him leave the Cottagers in January on loan to West Brom until the end of the season.
The midfielder’s contract is due to expire in the summer and thus, Leeds United are ready to pounce and bring him in on a free transfer.
The report claims Fulham have an option to extend Johansen’s contract for a further season in the summer, however. Whether they would take the option though remains to be seen as the 28-year-old could be valuable for them next season in the Championship once again.
Come summer, Leeds would need new faces in the squad, with or without promotion. Marcelo Bielsa has done a great job in his first season at Elland Road and if Leeds are to continue doing well, the board needs to back the manager fully in the summer transfer window. And the Whites are looking out on the possibility of snapping up Stefan Johansen to bolster their options in midfield.
Johansen was sent out on loan to West Brom on the January Deadline Day, in the hope that he could find more regular game time, but this hasn’t been the case. He has managed just six appearances at the Hawthorns and with his future at Fulham up in the air, a move to Leeds could really be a tempting proposition.
Leeds have lacked creativity at times and a bit of flair in the final third since the January departure of Samu Saiz. Johansen could exactly be the kind of player to fill the void left by Saiz and add more tenacity to the Whites’ midfield.
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The Norwegian is a technically gifted player who can play in various positions across the midfield. He has certainly proven himself in the Championship and will bring balance to Bielsa’s side, whilst adding creativity in the final third.
Johansen is perfectly suited to Bielsa’s style of play at Leeds. And if Bielsa can get the Norway international on a free then it would represent a mega coup for the Yorkshire club.
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