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Key clashes: Fulham v Palace

August 10 2018

James Tomkins

James Tomkins

Ahead of the new season, Hunter Young returns to break down the key player match-ups for Crystal Palace's upcoming game against Fulham.

Itís the start of another exciting Premier League campaign and for the second year in a row Crystal Palace will be kicking things off against a newly-promoted side.

The Eagles will travel to Craven Cottage this weekend to face off against Fulham and will hope to start the season better than they did the last one (a 3-0 home defeat to Huddersfield).

The Cottagers were promoted after defeating Aston Villa in the Championship play-off last term and return to the top flight for the first time since 2014.

James Tomkins v Aleksandar Mitrovic

James Tomkins cemented his place among the top centre-backs outside of the top six by finally ditching the injury bug that plagued him during his first season at Palace. The Englishman will look to build upon last yearís form but will not face an easy first week of action with the powerful striker Aleksandar Mitrovic looking to challenge Tomkins and fellow defender Mamadou Sakho.

A teammate of Luka Milivojevic at the international level, Mitrovic played a key role in getting Fulham back to the top division. The Serbian joined the Whites on loan from Newcastle in January, scoring 12 goals in 17 appearances before making the permanent switch this summer. Mitrovic is the prototypical target forward who uses his large frame to hold defenders and is known for being an aggressive player, bordering on dirty.

Luka Milivojevic v Jean Michael Seri

Luka Milivojevic was Palaceís sole representative at the World Cup this summer, and while it may have ended in a somewhat disappointing group stage exit, Milivojevic performed well when called on by his country. The leading scorer for the Eagles last season, Milivojevic will be looking to continue his excellent form and add to his goal tally as well as limit the influence of midfield counterpart Jean Michael Seri.

Fulham pulled what many consider to be a transfer coup by landing the signature of talented young Frenchman Jean Michael Seri. Seri was a target of the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal and shocked many by choosing to take his talents to Craven Cottage. The club record signing is a defensive midfielder but also has well developed playmaking skills with his passing range making him dangerous from anywhere on the pitch.

Embed from Getty Images

Aaron Wan-Bissaka v Ryan Sessegnon

After bursting onto the first-team stage due to injuries last season, Aaron Wan-Bissaka has established himself as the clear first-choice right-back over the summer. The Academy product will be determined to show that last yearís run was not a fluke but instead was just the beginning of a successful career in a Palace shirt. His first test will not be an easy one though as English wonderkid Ryan Sessegnon is coming off a Championship Player of the Year Award.

Sessegnon is a versatile player playing up and down the left side of the field capable of lining up as a left-back or a winger. Despite playing in the defence in recent friendlies manager Slavisa Jokanovic has acknowledged he is at his best further forward. Regardless of where he starts Sessegnon is sure to encounter Wan-Bissaka throughout the game and has the pace and trickery to put a scare into even the best full backs.

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