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Man United vs Fulham: Silva says it is ‘not a moment’ to speak about Joao Palhinha suspension as visitors bid to change poor away form

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Fulham manager Marco Silva says he will not be distracted by the absence of midfield mainstay Joao Palhinha for the trip to Manchester United in the Premier League on Saturday.

Portugal international Palhinha has started all but four of the Cottagers’ top-flight matches this season but will be suspended at Old Trafford and against Brighton at home a week later after collecting 10 yellow cards.

“It’s a moment to talk about the other players and how they are going to be really important,” said Silva.

“The chance is going to be there for someone to take and I really hope the player who comes in shows quality, because we have players with quality.

“It’s not a moment to talk about Joao, when you are going to play against Man United or Brighton.”

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Sasa Lukic could replace Palhinha for his second start since September, while Raul Jimenez’s injury means Rodrigo Muniz is likely to continue to deputise in attack and Chelsea loanee Armando Broja could be on the bench if the forward recovers from illness.

Willian is being assessed as Silva’s side look to improve on an away record which is only better than bottom club Sheffield United in the Premier League.

Man United v Fulham: Silva targets improvement

Fulham have not won an away league game since beating Everton on the opening day of the campaign, a run which has contributed to them lying six points off the top half of the table.

United have recorded victories in their last five matches in all competitions and are unbeaten in three at home.

“The reasons are there,” Silva said when he was asked about Fulham’s poor run on the road.

“We keep the reasons to ourselves. The players know the reasons too, of course. In the last game, against Burnley [2-2], we were leading 2-0 in the last 10 minutes. It was a clear lack of game management.

“There are certain types of mistakes that we have made in some games as well. They are reasons for us to work with the players and try to improve.”

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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