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Three Players to Watch: Matchday 36 vs. Cardiff City

Can They Make It Three in a Row?

Cardiff City v Chelsea FC - Premier League Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

Yeah man, things are getting quite weird at Fulham. The team is playing quite well and Scott Parker might get the full-time job as a result. I don’t think there will be much that will be disgruntled if that were to take place, but there are plenty of examples of caretaker managers that haven’t planned out at all. In fact, it would look like they lost their mojo as soon as they receive the permanent position.

For one, look no further than West Brom last year who gave Darren Moore the full-time role after guiding the club towards a nice run of form that includes a win at Manchester United after being relegated. While the Baggies are currently third in the Championship, Moore was sacked recently for looking tactically outmatched every fixture. Along with that, there was massive pressure of getting his team promoted instantly or else the board would have to sell the majority of its squad next season to stay financially stable. Fulham shouldn’t have anywhere near those pressures as it is believed that every player recently signed by the club have relegation clauses in their contracts. Even so, the pressures of heading back to the Premier League are immense and we don’t know if Scott Parker has faced any true adversity just yet.

That’s where looking at Manchester United is a big example as Olé Gunnar Solksjaer is hoping to return the club to its glory days under Sir Alex Ferguson. But now after suffering seven defeats in nine games in all competitions, who knows if that is even feasible long term, even if the issues aren’t all the fault of the former Red Devil. Still, United expect Premier League and Champions League trophies and anything short of that is a failed season.

So back to Fulham, it would be quite nice to still see them keep winning and help relegate an arch rival. Bluntly, Cardiff are arguably the least talented team in the Premier League, but Neil Warnock and his antics have got them one good result or two away from safety. But with this game at home and against a confident Fulham team, this surely will be a difficult game to win for the Bluebirds. Plus, it would be nice to seek revenge on a miserable 4-2 defeat that was the first of many signs of why Fulham were to be relegated.

So despite that said lack of talent, I did have to find three players to preview that will be coming from the Welsh capital today.

Sean Morrison

All data from whoscored.com

First up is the man they call captain. Personally, I find both Sean Morrison and Sol Bamba to be Championship level defenders at best, but they are really good at doing what they do best. That is sitting back so far back to not let attacks run from behind, using their brute force to put an end of opposition attacks, and make sure the ball doesn’t hang around the penalty area for too long. It will be interesting to see Aleksander Mitrovic get any joy as he’s done the previous two games as that could determine the outcome of today’s contest.

Victor Camarasa

All data from whoscored.com

With Cardiff only keeping the ball 39.3% of the time this season, there are almost no opportunities to score. But one player that has made the most of a bad situation has been the 25-year old Spaniard. At five goals and four assist, you won’t find anyone else from Cardiff come close to rivaling Camarasa’s production. He is an interesting player who plays in a Jack Grealish style in the number 10 role. With Joe Ralls and Harry Arter out injured, Camarasa’s production will be so crucial to Cardiff freeing up his defense and springboarding the attack.

Junior Hoilett

All data from whoscored.com

Lastly, it was so hard to find any attacker in a rich vein of form for this club. I could have gone with Oumar Niasse, a player who has interesting skill sets to be successful, but he still hasn’t scored or created one goal since arriving on a loan deal from Everton. By default, I’ve chosen Junior Hoilett and his three goals and one assist while Calum Paterson is also out injured. With the latter taking no part in today’s contest, Hoilett is the only player for Cardiff to be in the top four for the club in shots and key passes per 90 minutes. Still, I’ll just let you look at his radar and let you observe how grim it is up front for the Blue Birds.