Manager Martin Jol is weighing up whether to play three centre-backs at Stamford Bridge to compensate for the absence of suspended defensive leader Brede HangelandEXCLUSIVE
By Wayne Veysey
Martin Jol is considering reshuffling Fulham's defence for the derby clash with Chelsea to compensate for the absence of Brede Hangeland, Goal.com can reveal.
The Cottagers manager is toying with the idea of scrapping his back-four system and playing with three centre-backs.
Defensive leader Hangeland will serve the second game of a three-match suspension at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night and Jol is concerned that Aaron Hughes and Philippe Senderos, who were paired together for the 1-0 defeat at Stoke City on Saturday, could be exposed by Chelsea's array of attackers.
Goal.com understands that Jol is weighing up whether to use a 3-4-3 formation against Chelsea, which would see Hughes, Senderos and Chris Baird operating as Fulham's three centre-halves.
Intriguingly, Jol instructed Fulham Under-21s to play with a three-man defence against Chelsea on Monday night.
The tactical shift backfired, as Fulham were three goals down at half-time before switching to a traditional back four in the second half and shutting out their west London rivals in the second half as the match finished 3-0.
Although the gamble failed in the Under-21s league, the formation tweak is still very much in Jol's mind for the senior derby clash on Wednesday.