The Lowdown: Scott Parker's Fulham

Fulham welcome Leicester City to Craven Cottage on Wednesday as an engrossing Premier League season reaches matchday 22.
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While the Cottagers remain in the top-flight's relegation zone, Scott Parker's men in fact sealed a victory at King Power Stadium earlier this term, and have steadily been improving.

Ahead of the encounter in west London, which kicks off at 6pm GMT, LCFC.com takes a closer look at the home side's manager, squad, form and more...

The manager

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Scott Parker
Scott Parker

Former midfielder Scott Parker guided Fulham to promotion from the Sky Bet Championship last season.

Scott Parker succeeded former City boss Claudio Ranieri in February 2019 as Fulham manager, and while the London outfit were relegated from the Premier League, it took Parker just one season to regain their top-flight status.

Fulham’s 2-1 success against Brentford in the Championship Play-Off Final sealed an instant return to the Premier League, with the triumph coming courtesy of a brace from full-back Joe Bryan.

The Wembley tie went to extra-time after a goalless 90 minutes, but with 105 minutes on the clock, Bryan bent a fine free-kick into the bottom corner before adding a second with three minutes to play to earn a win in the capital.

Parker, 40, had a playing career that spanned two decades, starting at Charlton Athletic before spells at Chelsea, Newcastle United, West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur and, finally, Fulham, where he retired.

He was capped 18 times at senior level for England, while he has also represented his nation’s Under-16s, Under-18s and Under-21s sides on a combined 18 occasions also.

The squad

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Ademola Lookman
Ademola Lookman

Ademola Lookman finds the net for the Cottagers in a 2-1 reverse to Manchester United earlier this year.

Fulham moved to strengthen their defensive ranks following promotion from the Championship by bringing in centre halves Tosin Adarabioyo (from Manchester City) and Terence Kongolo (from Huddersfield Town).

The arrival of full-backs Antonee Robinson and Kenny Tete further improved Parker's back-line options.

He bolstered the midfield by making Harrison Reed's loan move from Southampton a permanent one, while a host of loanees also signed for the club.

Joining Reed in midfield is his former Southampton team-mate Mario Lemina, as well as Chelsea's Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Red Bull Leipzig winger Ademola Lookman.

Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Alphonse Areola has emerged has Fulham's new No.1 following his temporary move to the Cottagers, alongside defenders Ola Aina and Joachim Andersen.

Ex-City midfielder Anthony Knockaert, meanwhile, has joined Nottingham Forest on loan, along with Cyrus Christie, while Alfie Mawson and Steven Sessegnon will spend the season with Bristol City.

A key, existing member of their current squad, Aleksandar Mitrović, scored 26 goals in the Championship to fire his side to fourth place, and eventually the Premier League.

Forward Bobby Decordova-Reid is the team's top scorer so far this season with seven goals, while Mitrović, Lookman and Ivan Cavaleiro have three to their name.

Form guide

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Ivan Cavaleiro
Ivan Cavaleiro

Ivan Cavaleiro rescued a point for Fulham at West Bromwich Albion last time out.

While the west London outfit have only secured one victory in all competitions in 2021 so far, Scott Parker's men have delivered several encouraging performances since the turn of the New Year.

Last time out, Fulham secured a 2-2 draw with West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns, with Bobby Decordova-Reid and Ivan Cavaleiro finding the net in the Black Country.

That result was preceded by a goalless stalemate with Brighton & Hove Albion at AMEX Stadium, which followed a 3-0 defeat by Burnley in the Emirates FA Cup at Craven Cottage.

While beaten by both Chelsea (1-0) and Manchester United (2-1) at home in January, Parker will have been enthused by the nature of his side's performances in both clashes.

The year began, meanwhile, with a 2-0 success at Queens Park Rangers in the FA Cup, with Decordova-Reid and Neeskens Kebano on the scoresheet.

That result came before a commendable 1-1 draw at Tottenham Hotspur, courtesy of Cavaleiro's late equaliser in north London.

Previous encounters

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Harvey Barnes
Harvey Barnes

Harvey Barnes pulled one back with a sweet strike, but it wasn't enough for the Foxes.

First-half efforts from Ademola Lookman and Ivan Cavaleiro, from the penalty spot, helped Fulham secure a 2-1 victory over Leicester City at King Power Stadium in November.

That defeat ended a three-game unbeaten run for the Foxes against Fulham, which started with a 4-3 League Cup triumph on Filbert Way in October 2013.

However, it is the west London outfit who hold the advantage in the all-time head-to-head record, winning 40 of their meetings with City, who have tasted success on 28 occasions. 

The trophy cabinet

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Fulham FC
Fulham FC

Captain Tom Cairney lifts the Sky Bet Championship play-off trophy aloft as Fulham celebrate promotion back to the Premier League.

One of Fulham’s most memorable runs to a cup final saw them draw with AS Roma in the group stages of the newly-formed 2009/10 UEFA Europa League, before they beat 2009 winners Shakhtar Donetsk in the Round of 32 over two legs.

They then remarkably dismissed Italian giants Juventus over two legs in the Round of 16, producing a phenomenal comeback to win 4-1 at Craven Cottage in the second match against a side that included Fabio Cannavaro, Alessandro Del Piero and David Trezeguet.

After a quarter-final success against VfL Wolfsburg and a win against Hamburger SV in the last-four, they were eventually beaten by Atlético Madrid in extra-time in Hamburg following a brace from Diego Forlán.

Atléti’s side on the day included David de Gea, Raúl García and Sergio Agüero, while future Foxes Mark Schwarzer and Paul Konchesky played for Roy Hodgson's side.

Meanwhile, Fulham have won two second tier and third tier titles, the UEFA Intertoto Cup in 2002 and were runners-up in the 1975 FA Cup Final, where they lost out to West Ham at Wembley in front of an attendance of 100,000 people.

The stadium

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Craven Cottage
Craven Cottage

Craven Cottage opened in 1896 as a stadium, but the cottage has stood on that ground since the 1700s.

They play their home games at the characterful Craven Cottage, which has been Fulham's home since 1896. The ground's record attendance of 49,335 came in October 1938 for a fixture against Millwall.

On the banks of the River Thames, it is one of the most scenic and traditional grounds in the Premier League, previously hosting rugby league side Fulham RLFC and several international fixtures involving the USA, Australia, Canada and the Republic of Ireland.

The stadium is currently being expanded to hold 30,000 fans, adding 5,000 more seats than the previous capacity. This is through the development of the 'main' Riverside Stand.

Upcoming fixtures

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An increasingly familiar defensive free-kick strategy on display from Fulham at Brighton in January.

Fulham contest five fixtures in February, starting against the Foxes on Wednesday, before they host West Ham United at Craven Cottage on Saturday (5:30pm kick-off).

Then, it's a trip to Goodison Park to face Everton on 14 February (7pm kick-off) and a home clash with Sheffield United on 20 February (8pm kick-off).

Their month ends with a short journey across the capital to Selhurst Park to tackle Crystal Palace on 28 February (12pm kick-off).

All times GMT.

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