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While the FA Cup carries on, some Championship teams still have a game this weekend. Fulham, who destroyed Burton Albion 6-0 last time out will face relegation-threatened Barnsley away from home. Fulham are on an excellent run and are only 1 point away from the play-off places. Barnsley, on the other hand, are only 2 points away from the relegation zone and are struggling for wins.
This game is the story of two teams going in the opposite direction and Fulham will be looking to inflict more pain on a Barnsley side who are doing their best to survive in a league where they haven’t got the financial clout of some of the other teams. The last time these teams met, Fulham ran out 2-1 winners in a very tight game. They will be hoping to make it much more comfortable this time around.
The Cottagers will be hoping to give left-back Matt Targett his first start after he arrived from Southampton on loan until the end of the season. Floyd Ayite remains sidelined but Tom Cairney is likely to return to the starting line-up after coming off the bench against Burton. Midfielder Stephan Johansen is one booking away from suspension.
GK – Marcus Bettinelli
The upturn in Fulham’s form has coincided with Bettinelli replacing David Button between the sticks at Craven Cottage. He will be hoping to keep another clean sheet after keeping the opposition out in his last three games.
RB – Ryan Fredericks
Ryan Fredericks has begun to come of age in a Fulham shirt. The speedy right-back is now 25 years old and will be hoping to help propel Fulham into the Premier League.
CB – Tim Ream
The USA international has played 26 of Fulham’s 28 league games this season and is a confident and calming presence at the back for them.
CB -Tomas Kalas
Former Chelsea defender Tomas Kalas is a physical presence in the middle of the defence and is also good on the ball. Will hope to keep the Barnsley strikers quiet this weekend.
LB – Matt Targett
Slavisa Jokanovic has been hoping to bring in a player of Targett’s quality to cover the left-hand side of the defence since Ryan Sessegnon has been moved to his more natural position, which is an advanced role on the left-wing. Targett has only played 2 games in the Premier League so far this season and will be looking to get his career back on track with Fulham.
LCM – Stephan Johansen
Part of a midfield three, Johansen will tuck in and allow full-back Targett to bomb forward. He is a tidy player with a good delivery.
CM – Kevin McDonald
Scottish midfielder Kevin McDonald is the engine room of the Fulham machine. Will provide cover for the defensive unit.
RCM – Tom Cairney
Club captain Tom Cairney has been a target for West Bromwich Albion this transfer window, and with his return to full fitness, he should slot straight back into the side.
LW – Ryan Sessegnon
The 17-year-old left sided player has played every game for Fulham so far this season. This highly rated teenager has recently pledged to stay with the club, and they have rewarded him by moving him forward to his preferred position.
ST – Rui Fonte
Less well-known brother of West Ham defender Jose Fonte, Rui is not a prolific striker by any stretch of the imagination. However, his build-up play allows the more skilful players to finish off the team’s plays.
RW – Lucas Piazon
Lucas Piazon’s return from a leg break has been a well-earned slice of luck for this Fulham side, and the former Chelsea attacker will be looking to add to his goal tally.