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Although it extended their impressive unbeaten run to 7 games, Fulham’s draw at home to Reading in the first leg of this Championship play-off semi-final was a disappointment.
Slavisa Jokanovic’s side went into the playoffs as the form team in the league and were widely expected to get to Wembley. If they hope to hold on to players like Tom Cairney, they really need that final promotion place. They remain dangerous though and all is not lost here. Reading have the need to come forward and may allow space at the back for Fulham to break.
It was surprising to see that the young Sessegnon did not play the first leg and he may come back here at the expense of Chris Martin in a 4-2-3-1 formation.
Now the confirmed no.1 at the club, he can continue in goal for the away side. Should start the game.
Playing away from home may this time see him get more space in behind Obita from right-back. He can try to exploit it for Fulham’s good.
The defender’s time at Fulham may be coming to an end, but he will look to go out on a major high.
The American defender is a mainstay for Fulham and a calm performance from him in guiding his defence is a must if Fulham are to get the job done here.
The tireless attacking left-back is important while going forward for Fulham and just like Fredericks, may get more space going forward, now that Reading are at home.
Still performing admirably with Johansen in the middle for Fulham and he will be needed once again in this important tie for his side.
The former Celtic man can ghost into some very dangerous positions from midfield and is just the type to pop up with a crucial goal in a game like this.
The tricky winger is always a likely type and will need to be watched like a hawk by the Reading back line.
There is a very real possibility that this could be his last game for the club. While he will hope it’s not, a trip to Wembley for the final would round off his season appropriately.
Jokanovic has to throw caution to the wind and include the teenager in the starting XI. His pace and trickery could cause havoc, especially with McShane now suspended from the Reading defence.
With Chris Martin potentially making way, Ayite may move back up to the no.9 position and will provide a completely different test for the home side. Getting as much pace into the Fulham front line as possible could prove crucial on the night.