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Luis Boa Morte recognises that he will be up against one of English football’s brightest defensive talents in Micah Richards when Fulham go to Manchester City this weekend.

Boa Morte, the Fulham captain, was full of appreciation for the youngster’s accomplished Premier League displays so far. “Richards did well on Wednesday,” the Fulham winger said. “He’s quick and strong and, when you start playing in the Premiership at 18 years old, you have a bright future in front of you.

“Now he just needs to keep his feet on the ground and be professional for his country and his club. And yes, depending on how he progresses, he could be in contention for that right-back slot for England for the next 10-12 years. He has the ability to play centre half and can pop up and score a goal as well, which is good for him. It will be interesting [to face him] on Saturday.”

Boa Morte also believes that Liam Rosenior, the Fulham defender, can emulate Richards’s achievement and break into the England squad this season, giving Steve McClaren, the head coach, further strength and options at full back.

“Liam has been playing well but there’s tough competition in the England squad,” Boa Morte said. “But Liam has played for the under-21s and has the ability and temperament to play for the full side.”