Fulham play Newcastle in what is looking like something of a must-win game on Saturday evening.
The Whites failed to capitalise on their good performance against Liverpool when they played Brighton on Wednesday evening, and they will want to put that right by turning over Steve Bruce’s side at St James’ Park at the weekend.
Newcastle are certainly a beatable side from Fulham’s perspective, with the Magpies looking vulnerable one more than one occasion so far this season, but if Fulham are to get anything against the Tyneside outfit, Scott Parker needs to get his team selection spot on.
We’ve had a go at predicting how Fulham will line-up for this one.
We think that Parker will opt to make three changes for this one and revert back to a shape we were more familiar with earlier this season.
Now, that isn’t to say that the 5-2-3 that we’ve seen as of late should be ditched forever, as we all know how effective that can be, with the Whites picking up great results against both Liverpool and Leicester.
However, the five-at-the-back works best when Parker’s side are looking to play a counter-attacking style, and against Newcastle that simply isn’t going to work, as Bruce is more than happy for his side to sit back and grind out a game, rather than pushing forward and leaving themselves vulnerable.
Therefore, we expect the 4-2-3-1 to return, with three personnel changes at the same time.
Tom Cairney and Mario Lemina come in for Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Harrison Reed, as those two are very capable when it comes to controlling possession and moving the ball quickly, which is a skill that will be vital against Newcastle’s rigid backline.
Aleksandar Mitrovic also makes his long-awaited return to the starting XI, coming in for Bobby Decordova-Reid, who may feel a little hard done by to miss out here after his incredible goalscoring start to the season.
This is bound to be an intriguing battle, that could very easily be decided by what system Parker chooses to play, and after Fulham’s flat offensive showing against Brighton on Wednesday, we think it’s time for something of a shake-up.