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The Opposition: Fulham

The lowdown on Wednesday night’s hosts

21 August 2019

Millwall are back on the road this Wednesday night (kick-off 7.45pm), contesting the first of three away games in six days as The Lions visit Craven Cottage to face Fulham. One point separates the sides in the Sky Bet Championship, with Neil Harris’ men sitting encouragingly in the top six at this early stage of the season – Fulham not far behind in ninth position.

The Lions remain unbeaten heading across to West London, with victories at The Den over Preston North End and Sheffield Wednesday, coupled alongside a League draw at West Bromwich Albion and a Carabao Cup victory over The Baggies. Scott Parker’s Fulham began the season with a surprise defeat at Barnsley, but redeemed their opening-day hiccup with victories over Blackburn Rovers and Huddersfield Town.

Fulham spent last season in the Premier League after Wembley success in the 2018 Play-Off Final over Aston Villa. Villa and The Cottagers however swapped places in the summer as Parker’s side – also managed during last season by Slavisa Jokanovic and Claudio Ranieri – suffered a frustrating relegation totalling just 26 points, after spending significant funds to strengthen the squad.

The West Londoners secured several loan deals to build a very strong Championship side, with exciting wide players Ivan Cavaleiro and Anthony Knockaert making the step down from the top flight. Bobby Reid, Parker’s brother-in-law Harry Arter, and Harrison Reed also joined the club, alongside a permanent deal for Josh Onomah from Tottenham Hotspur. Several players departed following the club’s drop, including young talent Ryan Sessegnon for a £25m fee, along with high-profile players Ryan Babel, Jean Michael Seri and Andre Anguissa.

Scott Parker signed a two-year managerial contract at Craven Cottage in the summer after his initial caretaker spell towards the end of last campaign. The former Cottagers midfielder spent time as first-team coach under Jokanovic, following his maiden coaching role with Spurs’ Under 18 side. Parker was well-known during his playing days as a tenacious central midfield player, representing five London clubs as well as Newcastle and Norwich and earning 18 senior England caps. After coming through the ranks at Charlton Athletic, Parker played 145 first-team games at The Valley and also represented West Ham United on 129 occasions. The former midfield man featured for England at Euro 2012, and at just 38 is already building respect in his coaching career.

Millwall have won 14 past meetings with Fulham – our opponents winning 19 along with 12 draws. The last contest between the sides was won by The Cottagers in September last year – a 3-1 Carabao Cup defeat for The Lions. Our last victory at Craven Cottage came in August 2014 – a 1-0 success with Martyn Woolford on the scoresheet.

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