Silva expects big test against Cherries

Fulham welcome Bournemouth on Saturday as Marco Silva looks to amend for what he described as one of their worst performances in December.

Fulham have won just one of their past seven Premier League games, with their previous two matches ending in a draw. 

Last Saturday, they squandered a two-goal lead at Burnley, conceding an equaliser in stoppage time as they failed to kill the game. 

Reflecting on the last time his side met Bournemouth, a 3-0 defeat away at the Vitality Stadium on Boxing Day, Silva said: “It was one of the worst performances of the season.

“It was a moment for us to learn and to take something to improve, to make the players understand and after to perform much better.

“We were able to do it in the next game against Arsenal and we need to perform in a different way to Boxing Day.”

The Cherries are without a win in each of their past four games, after a run which saw them win six of seven games in November and December 2023. 

But the Fulham boss said Andoni Iraola’s team present a difficult challenge.

Bournemouth striker, Dominic Solanke, has scored in each of his past five appearances against Fulham and Silva is aware of the threat he poses. 

Silva said: “He’s a very good player, no doubt about it.

“The capacity he has to score goals and create for others, he’s always a player that can be a threat to you.”

Fulham have struggled to be clinical in front of goal this season, failing to score in 10 Premier league game this season, a league high. 

But Silva’s new striker, Armando Broja, signed on loan until the end of the season from Chelsea, is in contention to start his first game for the club. 

He said: “He’s in a happy place and let’s hope we can take the best from him and for him to score goals for us.”

However, Raul Jimenez (hamstring) and Kenny Tete (achilles) have been ruled out to injury but Harry Wilson and Adama Traore have returned to the fold. 

Silva will also be without Alex Iwobi and Calvin Bassey who are set to face Ivory Coast in the Africa Cup of Nations with Nigeria on Sunday.

On their absence, Silva said: “For us as a club, it’s not good.

“It’s been a long time for us without two key players who have been so important since they joined in the summer.

“Of course, we are happy and pleased for them, [it’s an] important moment for them both and their country.”

Fulham currently sit 13th in the table, one point behind Bournemouth in 12th and welcome the Cherries to Craven Cottage on Saturday at 3pm.

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