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Fulham vs. Rotherham Preview: Three questions

Are Rotherham really this bad? Who starts for Fulham? Can Fulham put Saturday’s result behind them?

Fulham v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Sky Bet Football League Championship
Could we see the return of Ryan Tunnicliffe in this match?
Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

By both traditional metrics and advanced metrics Rotherham is by far the worst team in the division. Is there any reason to think Fulham shouldn’t win this game?

Honestly, no. Rotherham struggle with possession, give up the most shots in the league, and struggle to take shots of their own. All of this is even worse away from home. If Fulham have any hopes of challenging for a playoff spot, this is a game they have to win.

That being said, Rotherham was able to beat QPR on the weekend. While it wasn’t an impressive performance by any means, it does prove that you can’t sleep on any team. Fulham shouldn’t be taking this lightly however, especially after the way they finished their own match on the weekend.

Are there any particularly dangerous players on Rotherham Fulham fans should be watching?

So far the most dangerous player on Rotherham this season has been Danny Ward. This season Ward has eight goals and two assists in 18 matches for the Millers. He has either taken a great leap forward this year, or has been incredibly lucky as this is a much better rate than he has scored at transitionally. Over his previous 162 games, Ward has only put the ball in the back of the net 28 times. He’s gone from barely scoring once every six games to scoring in almost every other game. It’s not unheard of for a player to make a great leap forward in their mid 20’s, but there are reasons to be skeptical.

The other good young attacker on their squad is a member of Chelsea’s loan army. Isaiah ‘Izzy’ Brown leads the team with four assists. He’s also their second leading scorer with three goals in his 16 appearances. He’s not a finished product, but he is proving to be dangerous in the Championship.

Fulham played a wild game on Saturday, with a quick turn around for Tuesday. Slavisa Jokanovic seems to have settled into a favored lineup, but will the short week see him make any changes?

This is very hard to know. I would guess that Denis Odoi may come in for Ryan Fredericks at right back. It’s possible Ryan Sessegnon starts on the left as well. I imagine Ragnar Sigurdsson is healthy enough to resume playing and takes the spot that Tim Ream was playing. I expect Tom Cairney, Stefan Johansen, and Ryan McDonald all to start. However, neither Ryan Tunnicliffe or Jozabed played in Fulham’s U23 match on Monday. Both have been featuring there, so it’s a good guess they could be in the squad. Perhaps Tunnicliffe, Scott Parker, and Jozabed to start with the others on the bench? It’s very hard to pick who needs rest between Sone Aluko and Floyd Ayite, but you could see Lucas Piazon and Neeskans Kebano replace either of them. The biggest question might be whether Jokanovic trusts Matt Smith to come in and spell Chris Martin.

What do you think will happen in this match?

Fulham are simply too good not to win. Barring something crazy taking place they score three goals and win comfortably 3-0.