Fulham v Cardiff City. Match preview

Last updated : 09 September 2017 By Michael Morris

Around 3,500 City fans are on their way to London for today's Championship clash at Craven Cottage between Fulham and Cardiff City.

Early team news

Fulham can add Yohan Mollo and Jordan Graham to their squad for the visit of Cardiff.

Mollo was a deadline-day signing from Zenit St Petersburg and fellow wideman Graham arrived from Wolves on a season-long loan. Another new loan signing, Rafa Soares, is battling to shake off an ankle injury and Lucas Piazon is out with a broken leg. Midfielder Tom Cairney will be assessed after dropping out of the Scotland squad with a knee problem.

Cardiff defender Matt Connolly is fit for the trip to Craven Cottage after recovering from an ankle problem. "You'll always lose Matt for five or six games with his ankles, I had the same at QPR with him. I'm afraid he's got ankles like pieces of paper at times," boss Neil Warnock said.

Lee Camp and Callum Paterson are in training following spells in the treatment room but are unlikely to be back in action until next month. Kadeem Harris and Rhys Healey remain on the long-term absentee list.


Match Officials:

The referee is TONY HARRINGTON

Assistants: Geoffrey Russell and Daniel Leach
Fourth Official: Christopher O'Donn

Opta stats

The Cottagers haven't kept a clean sheet against Cardiff in any competition in their last 19 games against them, since a 2-0 win in March 1989.

These sides haven't shared a goalless draw in a league game since December 1974, with there being at least one goal in each of the last 30 games between the sides.

Fulham have lost just one of their last 11 league games (W6 D4), though it was in their last such match at home (0-1 vs Sheffield Wednesday).

Neil Warnock has never won an away league match at Fulham (D2 L7), with his last visit ending in a 6-0 defeat for his QPR side in the Premier League in October 2011.

Fulham are averaging just 0.8 goals per game in the Championship so far this term; this after averaging 1.8 per game in the 2016/17 campaign (excl. play-offs).

None of the last six clubs top of the Championship at the end of August have gone on to win automatic promotion, and only two have finished in the top six.

Neil Warnock's pre match press conference

Neil Warnock on his manager of the month award
Every one (award) is important. I remember most of them. It’s not an award for the manager, it’s an award for the whole club. We’ve moved together from the top right down, we are united. It’s a really good achievement. The players have done really well and we’ve had a good pre-season and we’ve played good stuff well.

Warnock on player of the month Nathaniel Mendez-Laing
Right from meeting him I know what he’s got, it’s just reassuring lads like that, that the step up is not what you think, and to be yourself really. He has attributes which we use and you can see he enjoys it. Even before the season started, we had a very good pre-season.

Warnock on his side’s form
All credit to the lads that were here aswell, we had a decent end to the season. I’ve not seen Hoilett or Bamba play like this before. You’ve got your consistent ones like Peltier, Gunnarson and Ralls. And you’ve got Zohore as good as anything in the country. With Mendez-Laing playing like this, it’s the freedom.

Warnock on tomorrow’s opponents
Tomorrow’s going to be a real good challenge. I think they were the best team we played last year, in the play-offs, i thought if they got past Reading they’d have gone up.
I think it’s soon (that they go up). I have lost in the playoffs once. It’s a horrible feeling and it’s very difficult to get the lads up, no matter what you say. They must have known they were the best team so it’s a double low to them. They’ve got so many good players, they’ll have a lot of the ball.

Warnock on the upcoming fixtures
The next two months, I’ve said from day one, if we can be in the top 4 from the end of October then we’ve got a good chance of the play-offs. In the championship you won’t win every game, it’s so difficult. It wouldn’t be a shock if we lost all three games. We’ll have to use the squad a bit. Bruno’s not even back yet. We’ll have to think carefully about selection.

More from Warnock on the Championship
It’s just as difficult to go to Burton in this league, the bottom teams can beat the top teams. The attitude of the players has got to be right. All I know is it will be difficult for the teams to play us.

Warnock on new signing Craig Bryson
I asked about Craig a couple of weeks earlier but Gary Rowett had no intention of selling him. I had a couple of options in midfield but I left it till about 8am in the morning to check with Gary if there was a chance of a deal.
And it seems things changes at their end. I was told that it would be possible if the player wanted to come.
In the end it was about 10 to 11, I don’t know why it happens every year.

More on how Warnock got his man
He was my number one target. I just had a hunch when I rang up on that morning, because I had to get that passed by Vincent, Mehmet and Ken, they were fabulous. They really helped me secure Craig, they knew he was my target and he’s the one I’d have liked to sign permanently.

Warnock on what Bryson brings
He’s a very underrated player, he’s a manager’s player, I think that’s why Gary was a bit loathe to let him come. He doesn’t catch the eye but you always give him 8/10. We’re asking a lot of Loic to play three games a week when he’s come from the second division in france.

Warnock on new signing Liam Feeney
I think the two players coming in will help us get goals. Last window (Feeney) should’ve come. I think he needs me, he’s not been a regular at Blackburn and the way I see him playing I think he can do well for me which is why I let Matthew (Kennedy) go.
I think we’ve got better on the bench now. It’s given us a really good competitiveness now, to win games, not to just shut up shop.

Warnock on holding onto striker Kenneth Zohore
It’s important that Zohore stayed, but I do feel sorry for Danny Ward because he’s on fire in training. When you’ve won five out of five you can’t complain to the manager. He will play an important part this season.
It is an absolute nightmare for managers. Last year we had deadline day on a game day. I was on the bench trying to do a deal. It’s no thought from people who haven’t got a clue about the game. I think it only encourages you to be a better manager.

More from the Bluebirds boss on Zohore
There was always interest in Zohore and the board I imagine of years ago would’ve snapped offers up but they weren’t the right offers for us. Ken’s a very important player for us so we were delighted when the window closed. I think he needs another year to play under me. He’s come back a lot more mature than when he first came into the team. Whilst he might be disappointed that he hasn’t scored goals in the last few games, his contribution has been super.
I’ve been quite pleased that he hasn’t scored many goals because it hasn’t alerted anybody about how many goals he’s scored.
We need Ken and I think he needs us for this season.
I had Premier League managers ringing me and told me that they’d put an offer in, but then it was left to Mehmet and Vincent and they said no right from the start.

Warnock on his injured players
I went in the physio room and said they’ll be out of work soon.
Paterson and Camp are both training, one’s going to have half a game in the U-21s (Paterson) next week and Camp is planning to have half a game the week after.
I can’t envisage him coming back until October (Paterson) but they’re both big players.

More from the manager on injuries
Connolly is fit, he’s Mr Reliable. You’ll always lose Matt for a few games with his ankles, he’s got ankles like pieces of paper.
Kadeem is doing very well, the medics are very happy with him. He’s still got the brace on but it comes off next week if I’m not mistaken.

Warnock on not signing Ledley
We’re done now until January. I don’t want any other additions. I was looking for that attacking midfield player. That’s why Bryson shaded that.