Silva backs Fulham to cope without Palhinha

Fulham boss Marco Silva insists his side can beat Arsenal without the suspended Joao Palhinha.

The Portuguese midfielder is serving the second of a two-match suspension and was badly missed in the defeat by Brentford on Monday.

It was the Whites’ first loss in six matches with his replacement Sasa Lukic was lucky to avoid a red card for tripping Yoann Wissa in the second half in what was a disappointing display by Silva’s side.

Lukic will start again on Sunday, but Silva has backed his team to respond strongly.

“We don’t like to lose and it is something that is not usual for us, and in a derby it’s a little bit harder as well,” Silva said.

“But that result cannot hide that they have been brilliant and one bad result shouldn’t allow people to write things about this football club that are unfair.

“We need to believe in ourselves. We know some moments they are going to have a lot of the play and we will have to do some things we don’t like especially playing at home. But we can handle that situation.

“Palhinha has been important to us, and a player like him, we don’t have the same profile of player to replace him.

“But the the player who played in his position (Lukic) was probably our best player on the pitch.

“Joao won’t be available so we just have to focus on the players that are.”

Fulham will also be without Shane Duffy and Tom Cairney for the game as both are injured.