Fulham vs Hull City
Wednesday 13th September 2017 (KO 7:45pm)
Sky Bet Championship
The Tigers have Fraizer Campbell available again for the trip to Craven Cottage. Campbell has missed the last two league games with a groin problem but returns to boost Head Coach Leonid Slutsky’s attacking options.
Ondrej Mazuch (knee) and Evandro (hamstring) are close to a return but not ready to feature against Fulham, while there are no fresh injury concerns in the wake of the defeat at Derby last Friday.
Abel Hernandez, Kevin Stewart, Will Keane, Moses Odubajo and Ryan Mason remain on the injury list.
Fulham will be without midfielder Lucas Piazon and defender Rafa Soares, while Tom Cairney, Rui Fonte, Neeskens Kebano and Sheyi Ojo all missed the weekend draw with Cardiff City. Deadline day signing Jordan Graham will be hoping to make his debut after being an unused substitute on Saturday.
Leonid Slutsky knows his players will face a serious test of their character when they take on Fulham at Craven Cottage tonight (KO 7.45pm).
The Tigers are still licking their wounds after a 5-0 drubbing at Derby last Friday and will be looking to bounce back against the Cottagers, with Slutsky admitting the side owe their travelling fans a performance.
“This isn’t just a match for us now, it is a big test for our character and for our willpower,” said Slutsky.
“It is a key moment in this season and we must show a reaction after what happened at Derby and that unbelievable defeat.
“It is a serious pressure now because everybody understands that we must recover quickly from what happened. The pressure is for the players, for the staff and for the Head Coach after a difficult moment in building a new team.
“Maybe it is better that we have this midweek game because it means there isn’t as much time to think about what happened at Derby, but it also means we haven’t had as much time to change some things because really we want to change some very important things in the team.
“It is important that we give the travelling fans a good performance. We still apologise to those that went to Derby. We know that a Wednesday night is not the best time for fans to be travelling to a game in London, but we hope that the fans that do go to the game will be right behind the team as the support is very important to us.”
Jackson Irvine, meanwhile, is confident that the Tigers can produce a positive response and bounce back when they face Fulham at Craven Cottage on Wednesday night.
Five days on from a horrible 5-0 defeat against Derby County, Leonid Slutsky’s side will be looking to show their character and Irvine has picked up on some positive signs in recent days.
“The reaction has been positive and I think that started in the second half at Derby,” he said.
“It would have been easy to go into our shell and crumble again in the second half but we didn’t and we at least showed some fight and created some chances.
“The first training session after that showed that we were all going to put that night behind us and focus on moving forward. We need to have learnt from the mistakes that we made against Derby and focus on the next few games.
“We’ve done a lot of tactical work in the last few days to get ready for Wednesday night. Fulham are a very good side and it will be tough for us going away from home again but it’s a great opportunity for us to bounce back.
“It will be a tough night. I think Fulham are a side with a lot of pace and flair going forward. They’ve made a few changes since last season but remain a very good side technically.
“We’ll be aware of all of that but we’ll also be focussing on our own game plan which we want to get us over the line.”
Fulham midfielder Kevin McDonald is expecting tonight’s clash at Craven Cottage to be an open game.
Both sides have yet to find their best performances and both are in a similar position in the table having gained seven points so far. The Tigers have scored 12 and conceded 12, while Fulham are known for their attacking football, suggesting tonight’s game has all the hallmarks of a high scoring affair – something that McDonald is prepared for.
He said: ”It could be about six each! We watched them on Friday night on the TV and we’ve had a meeting about them this week, but it’s got the potential to be an open game but we know ourselves what we have to do to win these games.”
Hull City’s Last Five Results
L0-5 vs Derby County (a)
W4-0 vs Bolton Wanderers (h)
L0-2 vs Doncaster Rovers (a)
L1-2 vs QPR (a)
L2-3 vs Wolves (h)
Fulham’s Last Five Results
D1-1 vs Cardiff City (h)
W2-0 vs Ipswich Town (a)
L0-1 vs Bristol Rovers (h)
L0-1 vs Sheffield Wednesday (h)
D0-0 vs Leeds United (a)
Nine of the last 15 league meetings between these sides at Fulham have ended in draws, with both sides winning three apiece in the other six encounters.
The Tigers registered a 1-0 win on their last league visit to Craven Cottage and are chasing back-to-back league wins there for the first time since October 1911.
Fulham have not kept a clean sheet in any of their last 12 league games at Craven Cottage, they last went on a longer run without a shutout in February 1989 (13 successive games).
Tim Robinson will take charge of the Tigers’ Sky Bet Championship trip to Fulham on Wednesday night.
Robinson has manned eight matches so far this campaign, dishing out 22 yellow cards and six red cards along the way.
Assisting Robinson will be Ian Cooper and Robert Hyde, while Keith Stroud will be on fourth official duty.
This will be the 93rd competitive meeting between these two sides. The Tigers have won 35 of those games, drawing 27 and losing the other 30. In away fixtures against the Cottagers, the Tigers have won 11 of 46 in all competitions, with 15 draws and 20 defeats.
LAST TIME OUT
The Tigers endured disappointment on their previous trip to Craven Cottage as the home side inflicted a 4-1 defeat on Marco Silva’s side to progress the fifth round of the FA Cup.
The hosts took the lead as Sone Aluko volleyed in against his former club before Evandro levelled on 49 minutes.
Chris Martin restored the hosts’ lead five minutes later, with further goals Ryan Sessegnon and Stefan Johansen completing the scoring.
Marcus Bettinelli saved two Abel Hernandez penalties in two minutes, before producing an excellent stop to deny substitute Josh Tymon late on as Fulham deservedly reached the fifth round for the first time since 2011.
Tickets are no longer available to purchase in advance. Fans can pay at the turnstiles Craven Cottage this evening (cash only), but please note that prices will rise by £5 for those paying on the night.
FOLLOW THE ACTION
Don’t worry if you can’t make it to Craven Cottage for whatever reason, as we’ll be keeping you right up to speed with events during today’s game. Our social media channels will keep you up-to-date on events during the 90 minutes, and take you behind-the-scenes at the home of the Cottagers.
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