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'Fulham Signed Young & Hungry Players In The Summer'

Malik Ouzia, a Sports Reporter for the London Evening Standard, has pointed to Fulham's youthful squad ahead of their visit to King Power Stadium on Monday.
More on this story...

- Fulham travel to King Power Stadium to face Leicester City on Monday (5:30pm kick-off)
- London Evening Standard reporter Malik Ouzia spoke to LCFC TV ahead of the fixture
- Ouzia highlighted the youth of Scott Parker's squad in his pre-match assessment
- Live coverage of the game begins at 4pm on Monday evening, live on LCFC social media and LCFC.com

Leicester City welcome Scott Parker's men to Filbert Way on the back of a 3-3 draw with SC Braga in the UEFA Europa League, while the Cottagers were narrowly beaten by Everton last time out.

Ahead of the fixture in Leicester, a 5:30pm kick-off, Ouzia spoke to LCFC TV's Matchday Live preview show to assess how the encounter could unfold.

"You look at Fulham’s start to the season and, obviously, it’s been a very difficult one," he said earlier this week.

"The only points they’ve picked up have been against two other struggling teams in West Brom and Sheffield United, so it’s going to be a long, difficult season for Fulham.

"There’s been no shirking that from Scott Parker from the start. These next three games, against Leicester, Man City and Liverpool, it’s difficult to see that changing in the next couple of weeks.

"The fear is that the style of play that Fulham employ, they will try and keep the ball and try and dominate possession, which could just play into Leicester’s hands.

They have some young, promising players, which is something they were very conscious of doing in the market, having spent huge amounts of money last time they came up.

Malik Ouzia London Evening Standard

"We’ve seen Leicester do really well against teams who play in a similar way in Man City and Arsenal, where they just destroyed them on the counter attack.

"Fulham’s backline has been accused of being a bit naïve at times and Leicester are exactly the type of team who would be able to exploit that.

"We saw last week that Everton scored three goals. They could have had plenty more, really, even though it ended up being a close game as far as the result was concerned.

"If Leicester are a bit more ruthless, then it would be concerning."

While Fulham have struggled defensively, goals have been hard to come by, too, for a side who netted 64 times in the Sky Bet Championship, en route to promotion last season.

"There are problems at both ends of the pitch," Ouzia continued. "Fulham have been up against it from the start in terms of this unique season and the delay to last season.

"They played the play-off final in early August and five and a half weeks later, they were playing Arsenal on the first weekend of this season, so it was a very quick turnaround.

"They weren’t able to get off to a good start and they had to do a bit of transfer business late. The defensive problems have been well documented.

Expand photo
Aleksandar Mitrović
Aleksandar Mitrović

Fulham supporters will be looking to Aleksandar Mitrović to score goals this term.

"They’ve got quite a young, inexperienced backline in the main, with one or two exceptions, including the goalkeeper (Alphonse Areola).

"They have some young, promising players, which is something they were very conscious of doing in the market, having spent huge amounts of money last time they came up.

"They wanted young, hungry players, but they’ve perhaps not got a here-and-now solution."

Aleksandar Mitrović, on the other hand, is a player Leicester fans will know well in Fulham's squad and many will assume it is only a matter of time before he starts to find the net consistently.  

"At the other end of the pitch, obviously Mitrović coming up into the Premier League looked as much of a sure thing you can get in terms of a player coming out of the Championship," Ouzia added.

"He’s been proven in the Premier League before and scored lots of goals at this level, but he hasn’t fired yet, also for Serbia in the international break.

"I think his only goals this season have come against Leeds who, obviously, were in the Championship last year as well, so they’ve been really up against it at both ends of the pitch."

All times GMT.

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