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Fulham away at Derby ~ Team News Play-Off Semi-Final

last updated Thursday 10th May 2018, 5:44 PM

Team News

Derby County v Fulham

Championship PlayOff SF 1718 at Pride Park

Friday 11th May 2018    KO: 19:45

Referee: Roger East (Wiltshire)


Slavisa Jokanovic
First Team Head Coach
Slavisa Jokanovic
His Wiki page
Slavisa Jokanovic

Fulham have a full-strength squad available for the tie.

Matt Targett, who had to come off at half-time against Birmingham due to illness, is fit to play.

On-loan Sheyi Ojo will return to the squad after missing the last few games with an unspecified knock, while Floyd Ayite will be hoping for a start after a recent hamstring injury.

Fulham are favourites going into the play-offs but will be aiming for their first semi-final win at the seventh time of asking.

This will be the 62nd meeting between these two clubs in all competitions, with Derby winning 22 times (D20 L19). However, this will be first meeting between the two clubs in the play-offs.

Derby have lost just two of their last 12 home games against Fulham in all competitions (W7 D3).

However, Fulham did win their away league trip to Pride Park earlier this season, winning 2-1 in March with first half goals from Aleksandar Mitrovic and Ryan Sessegnon securing the points.

The side to finish third in the second tier has won promotion through the play-offs (current format) on 10 occasions (34%), more than any other position.

Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic:
"We have showed ambition, quality and self-belief many times in the regular season.

"Our season was fantastic and many teams want to be in the position we are. In the middle of December nobody believed we would be in the position to fight for the Premier League.

"We have three games ahead of us and we have great confidence. We must be ready to keep going and cross this line."

Derby County
Derby County manager Gary Rowett
Derby County manager
Gary Rowett
His Wiki page

Derby defender Marcus Olsson is an injury concern ahead of the Championship play-off semi-final first leg with Fulham.

The full-back limped off against Barnsley on Sunday with a knee problem and the club are awaiting the results of a scan to determine the extent of the damage.

Regardless of whether Olsson is fit, Derby boss Gay Rowett faces a decision about whether to play a back four or have three central defenders with wing-backs.

Matej Vydra, the Championship's leading scorer this season with 21 goals, is expected to come back into the starting line-up.

The team to finish sixth in the Championship has won promotion via the play-offs in just one of the last 12 seasons - Blackpool in 2009-10.

Derby boss Gary Rowett :
"People talk about Derby and this weight of expectation that always floats around and follows a club.

"So maybe this is the first time they've been in the play-offs in recent years where there is no expectation, and where we can go out and give it everything without any real fear.

"Fulham are the favourites for the play-offs, if you look at the odds, and we're probably the least-fancied team, so maybe that gives us something to prove."

Source SkySports/BBCSports
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