BY DAN EVANS
Marco Silva confirmed that Antonee Robinson has returned to training ahead of Fulham’s Premier League game against Crystal Palace on Saturday.
The defender missed last weekend’s 1-0 win against Luton Town with a muscle injury, with new signing Timothy Castagne taking his place at left back.
However, the USA international has been back in training and is set to return to the squad at Selhurst Park.
Adama Traore will miss out, though, having been absent against Luton, and Sasa Lukic remains sidelined with a groin injury.
“All the others (players) are going to be available,” confirmed the Fulham boss. “Antonee Robinson is back. We have another session tomorrow, but he has been training with the team since the beginning of the week.”
Silva would not be drawn on whether Carlos Vinicius was likely to start at Selhurst Park after the Brazilian came off the bench to score the winner against Luton.
Raul Jimenez is yet to find the net for Fulham after joining from Wolves in the summer and Rodrigo Muniz has featured more often than Vinicius so far this term, but there was no indication that the decisive goal from the 28-year-old has changed Silva’s thinking.
“We have three players that can play [upfront],” said Silva. “It’s up to me to decide what we want for the match with the strategy.
“It’s always important for a striker to score, to have an impact, to be decisive. They can have this impact from the beginning, they can have it from the bench. I want them to help the team.
“Even without scoring, Raul worked for the team in the minutes that he played.”
“We have to share the goals like we did last season. Last season, 15 players in our squad scored goals and we have to do the same this season.
“I would like to have a top man in the attacking line that can score more than 10, 20 goals but we have to provide for them as well. Until now, we haven’t provided enough for our strikers, we haven’t created enough chances to score.”
Fulham recorded an impressive 3-0 win away at Palace last season, but Silva is expecting a tough test at Selhurst Park this time round.
Former Whites’ boss Roy Hodgson is set to return to the dugout for Palace, having missed last weekend’s defeat at Aston Villa, and Silva has been impressed with the job he has done since returning in March.
“[It] Will be a tough one,” said Silva. “[They are] a quality team, well managed by Roy. It’s great to see him back in the dugout again.
“They have quality players that can decide the match in any moment. It’s always tough with the environment [at Selhurst Park] and the quality they have.
“They have a player behind the striker in Eze, who is a top, top level and can always make a difference.”
PICTURE: KEITH GILLARD
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