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Rams could batter Fulham's confidence even further

Rowett's Derby looking good

David Nugent could lead the Derby front line at Fulham
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Sky Bet Championship
Sky Sports Football, 5.30pm Saturday

Fulham have been one of the biggest disappointments in the Sky Bet Championship this season and their faltering campaign could suffer another blow with a defeat to Derby at Craven Cottage.

Between the October and November international breaks the Cottagers picked up just two points from five games and slipped from tenth to 17th in the table.

Derby went the other way, taking 12 points from a maximum 15 before they surprisingly lost 4-2 at home to Reading last time out.

However, the Rams are just one point outside the playoff positions and manager Gary Rowett has plenty of options with Richard Keogh, Joe Ledley, Bradley Johnson and Tom Lawrence having shaken off minor injuries.

His toughest selection conundrum is in attack with Lawrence, Matej Vydra, David Nugent, Sam Winnall and Chris Martin vying for inclusion.

Martin was on a campaign-long loan at Fulham last season and caused controversy by pushing for a return to his parent club and refusing to play in a match against Reading.

However, Rowett has backed the 29-year-old striker to handle the occasion and is likely to use him at some stage.

While he can select from a battery of proven second-tier strikers, Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic is struggling to identify a centre-forward he can rely on.


Saturday EFL tips

Mark Langdon

Dan Childs


Fulham continue to play some attractive football but have scored just 18 league goals and their top scorer is Norwegian midfielder Stefan Johansen with four from 16 appearances.

Neeskens Kebano, Aboubakar Kamara and Rui Fonte have played through the middle without great success and it seems likely that a new centre-forward will be a high priority on Fulham's January shopping list.

Jokanovic's side have looked vulnerable in defence, failing to keep a clean sheet in their last 11 games, and they are not getting the best out of creative midfielder Tom Cairney, who was their best player last term with 12 league goals.

Fulham supporters, who have watched their team post just one home league win this season, are fast running out of patience and their mood may not be improved this weekend.

Derby won at Leeds and Norwich on their last two road trips and look overpriced for the Fulham match at odds-against with the draw no bet.

Recommendation
Derby draw no bet
1pt 6-4 Paddy Power

Bet on this game at Soccerbase.com

Team news
Fulham
Kevin McDonald serves a suspension after accumulating five yellow cards and Lucas Piazon (broken leg) is out but Sheyi Ojo (shoulder) is back in full training.

Derby
Joe Ledley (hamstring), Bradley Johnson (rib), Richard Keogh (thigh) and Tom Lawrence (dead leg) are available but Johnny Russell (hamstring) is a doubt after missing training this week.

Sky Bet Championship standings

Key stat
Fulham have won only one of their nine home matches this season.


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Fulham have won only one of their nine home matches this season
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