Select Page

Fulham were flawless at Ewood Park on Wednesday and relentlessly ripped through a demoralised Blackburn Rovers, reduced to ten men, until the final whistle. It was another dominant display that extended Marco Silva’s winning run to five and an extension of their excellent response to that awful afternoon in the Coventry rain at the start of October. This being the Championship, though, there is no time for the Whites to rest on their laurels and Silva’s side face a testing trip to Peterborough on Saturday before another international break disrupts the domestic schedule.

Peterborough might be one of the division’s unfancied sides but, under the careful stewardship of chairman Darragh MacAnthony and canny management of Darren Ferguson, they are making a decent fist of remaining in the Championship so far. The Posh, whose policy of developing and selling on outstanding young talent has allowed them to remain financially stable at a time when most EFL clubs have been hit hard by coronavirus, have an excellent home record and have taken seven points from their last four fixtures to move four points clear of the relegation zone.

They grabbed a late draw against Huddersfield Town in midweek, with Jonson Clarke-Harris – a scorer of 33 goals last season as United won League One – grabbing a late equaliser. How Ferguson deploys his attacking resources will be interesting. Clarke-Harris, a renowned poacher who isn’t afraid to outmuscle defenders, may come into a side that already boasts Sammie Szmodics and Siriki Dembele, a previously longstanding Fulham target. The manager, who took charge of his 500th Posh game against the Terriers, is confident of being able to ‘give Fulham a game’ given that his side have held Bournemouth at home this season and beaten Queens Park Rangers.

He will be without the services of suspended centre back Nathan Thompson, with former Colchester defender Frankie Kent likely to step up after missing the last five fixtures. The hosts are still likely to be missing Joel Randall and Jack Marriott, although left-back Dan Butler should be available for selection. Fulham have never won a league fixture at Peterborough and Silva’s side will need to show more intensity and ingenuity than they mustered at either Blackpool or Coventry to avoid another slip-up.

They should travel to Cambridgeshire in good spirits following the demolition job at Blackburn on Wednesday night. The introduction of Michael Hector for the banned Tosin Adarabioyo passed off without any significant alarms and the pair that performed so well together at the tail end of the 2020/21 promotion campaign should remain in place here. Silva would be expected to keep faith with the eleven that scored seven in Lancashire but he does have the luxury of substitutes in fine form. Tom Cairney came on to create goals against his former employers, whilst Rodrigo Muniz supplied a couple of fine finishes in the space of ten minutes to deepen Blackburn’s misery.

The Whites possess plenty of quality in possession and have finally put together a consistent run that has created both a little cushion between themselves and West Brom in third as well as narrowing the gap to Bournemouth, whose first defeat of the season was a lovely little tonic on Wednesday. But all of that will count for nothing if Fulham’s attitude and execution are lacking against Peterborough: it will be a unique experience against a side eager to add another scalp and not afraid of a scrap. Silva’s stars will need to be up for the fight in order to come away with all three points.

MY FULHAM XI (4-2-3-1): Rodak; Tete, Robinson, Hector, Ream; Reed, Seri; Wilson, Kebano, Decordova-Reid; Mitrovic. Subs: Gazzaniga, Odoi, Mawson, Onomah, Carvalho, Cairney, Muniz.