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Fulham vs Luton Town: Preview team news and prediction

Fulham are set to face off against the newly promoted side Luton Town in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon. Here is a match preview

Fulham-attacker-Joao-Palhinha

Having endured a disappointing 5-1 defeat against Manchester City just before the international break, Fulham are set to face off against the newly promoted side Luton Town in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.

The Cottagers enjoyed a stellar campaign last term after achieving the promotion and finished in the top half of the table. But, they have had a tough start to this campaign.

After starting this season on a positive note by defeating Everton, Marco Silva’s side are currently winless in the next three league fixtures, losing two of those games and the heaviest defeat came at the Etihad Stadium. However, coming away with a point from the Emirates Stadium against Arsenal despite playing with 10 men for the final few minutes was a real positive for Fulham.

The West London club will be hoping to return to winning ways in their next game against Luton – who have been struggling to find their feet in the English top-flight having won the promotion to the Premier League for the first time.

Rob Edwards’ side are currently bottom of the table, losing all three of their games this season. So, on paper, this should be an easy game for Fulham.

However, after enduring a dire start to this season, Luton will be desperate to come out with a positive result this weekend to open their account in the Premier League. So, Fulham will have to be at their best to earn all three points from this encounter.

New arrivals

Fulham have made a few additions in the recently concluded transfer window but the biggest blow for them is losing their hitman Aleksandar Mitrovic to Saudi Arabian club Al Hilal.

They have signed Raul Jiménez from Wolverhampton Wanderers to replace the Serbian but the Mexican hasn’t been able to showcase his best in recent years after recovering from a serious head injury.

So, the Cottagers have struggled in front of the goal so far in the first few games, scoring only four goals in as many games and it is going to be interesting to see how Silva will manage to address that issue in the coming weeks. If Fulham can’t overcome that problem then they are likely to struggle this term.

Silva’s side have also signed Adama Traore after losing Manor Solomon, while they have managed to retain Willian – who established himself as an integral part of Fulham’s first eleven last term. The Cottagers have also signed Alex Iwobi from Everton to strengthen their flanks.

Fulham have added several pieces of firepower to bolster their backline. Calvin Bassey has been signed after Tosin Adarabioyo asked to leave the club, but a move didn’t materialise this summer so he currently remains at the club. They have also signed Timothy Castagne and Fode Ballo-Toure to strengthen their fullback positions.

The biggest positive for Fulham in this transfer window is Joao Palhinha still their player. The Portuguese was reportedly on the verge of joining Bayern Munich on deadline day and he even completed the medical to seal his move.

But, in the end, time ran out and the Bavarian club couldn’t manage to secure his signature in time. However, it has been suggested that the German giants will make another push in January to secure the former Sporting CP star’s signature so the West London club may be forced to cash-in on him in mid-season.

Previous encounters

Fulham have enjoyed success against Luton in recent times as the West London club are currently unbeaten against the Hatters, winning two games in the last four matches and all of those fixtures were in the Championship. So, this will be the first meeting between these two sides in the Premier League.

How to watch

The match will kick off at 3 pm UK time so the encounter won’t be telecasted live on TV in the UK due to the ‘blackout rule’. You can still buy Fulham vs Luton Town tickets for the game but fans need to move quickly as the match is likely to be sold out come kick-off.

Team news

Iwobi has been sidelined with an unspecified injury issue since joining Fulham so there is doubt whether he will be able to recover in time to be available for selection in this fixture.

Tom Cairney limped off in the last game versus the Citizens early into the first half and it seemed to be a muscle issue. So, he is in major doubt ahead of this encounter.

After starting in the first three games, Sasa Lukic was absent in the previous game due to a knee issue and there is a likelihood that his problem is a minor one so he could be available for selection in this encounter. Palhinha is also expected to return after remaining absent in the last game.

As for Luton, Jordan Clark and Daniel Potts are set to remain sidelined due to injury issues, while the new summer arrival from Arsenal Albert Sambi Lokonka is also expected to miss out due to an injury.

Gabriel Osho has been sidelined over the last few weeks and he didn’t feature for Luton in the first few games. But, he could return after recovering from his issue.

Predicted line-up

Silva likes to deploy a 4-2-3-1 system and it’s unlikely that he will change it in this encounter. Bernd Leno is expected to keep hold of his place between the sticks and in front of the German, Kenny Tete, Issa Diop, Bassey and Antonee Robinson are likely to be the back four for Fulham.

Palhinha should return in midfield after remaining absent in the last game and Harrison Reed should commence alongside the Portuguese. Andreas Pereira might be in the number ten role and either side of the Brazilian, Willian and Bobby Decordova-Reid should start. Jiménez should be leading the line for Fulham.

Predicted Fulham line-up(4-2-3-1)

Leno; Tete, Diop, Bassey, Robinson; Palhinha, Reed; Willian, Pereira, Decordova-Reid; Jiménez

As for Luton, Edwards likes to play with a 3-5-2 system – which generally turns into 5-3-2 and it’s likely to be the same this weekend. Carlton Morris is Luton’s club captain and the responsibility will be on him to score goals in this encounter.

Expected Luton Town starting eleven(3-5-2)

Thomas Kaminski; Alfie Doughty, Reece Burke, Mads Juel Andersen, Amari’i Bell, Ryan Giles; Tahith Chong, Marvelous Nakamba, Ross Barkley; Morris, Elijah Adebayo

Prediction

Fulham are a heavy favourite for this encounter and should come away with all three points. Therefore, anything but a victory will be a huge disappointment for the West London club.

On the other hand, if Luton can manage to earn even a single point from this fixture then that will be a huge achievement for Edwards’ side and that will certainly give them the belief that they can compete in this division. Fulham 3-1 Luton.

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