Fulham braced for hammer double blow for Everton clash amid big Aleksandar Mitrovic update

Fulham team news ahead of the clash against Everton.
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Joao Palhinha will be absent for Fulham when they travel to Everton on the opening day of the 2023-24 Premier League season on Saturday.

The midfielder was one of the star performers as the Cottagers secured a 10th-place finish in their maiden campaign back in the top flight last term. What’s more, Palhinha has been linked with the likes of Liverpool during the summer transfer window and a £60 million price tag was suggested to have been slapped on his head.

But the Portugal international will not be available for Marco Silva’s side at Goodison Park this weekend. Palhinha dislocated his shoulder during pre-season and is sidelined.

What’s more, fellow midfielder Andreas Pereira is also doubtful, according to Silva, as well as some other players.

The Fulham boss said at his pre-match press conference: “We have to assess some of the others, some knocks the last few games, last few days as well. There are some doubts, like Andreas Pereira and some of the other players.

“There’s nothing really serious but we have another session tomorrow and we have to assess them and, after, to take decisions for the game.”

However, Silva stressed that Aleksandar Mitrovic is ready to play against Everton. The striker has been the subject of interest from Saudi Arabia side Al-Hilal during the summer transfer window. The Cottagers have blocked Mitrovic, who scored 15 goals last season, from leaving the club.

It was reported that the Serbia international told family members he would ‘never play for Fulham again’ yet come off the bench in their 2-1 friendly victory over Hoffenheim last weekend.

When asked if Mitrovic was available, Silva replied: “One-hundred per-cent sure. Mitro was able to play last week. He has been working every single day with his team-mates.

“This week again [Mitrović] was working every single day with his teammates. And that’s it. He’s ready to play, if I’m going to decide to start with him or not. “I will not hide from you that one offer that he received made him think, made him probably take some type of decisions.

“About not playing one more minute for Fulham, he never said [that] to anyone inside this football club. If this is what the press said or what his relatives said, I’m not sure. For me and for the club, he never mentioned that. Never.

“But okay, people can say what they want. It was a situation where he had a clear offer from a club, a very good offer for him, and sometimes it’s not easy for them to keep the focus, even if you want them to keep the focus.

“Since he started to work with his teammates again, on the pitch again, he’s been the Mitrović that I know.”