CHERRIES could be without nine first-team players for Friday's top-of-the-table clash at Fulham.

The Cottagers are currently one point ahead of Cherries after 20 matches.

The two sides go head-to-head, live on Sky Sports, on Friday evening with Cherries boss Scott Parker returning to face his former club.

But his squad is still set to be stretched, as it has been in recent weeks.

Lloyd Kelly (quad), Gary Cahill (ribs), Adam Smith (knee), Robbie Brady (knock), Jordan Zemura (ankle), Ben Pearson (ankle), Junior Stanislas (hamstring) and David Brooks (illness) all missed Saturday's 2-2 draw with Coventry City.

Jefferson Lerma was sent off against the Sky Blues, meaning he will now serve a one-match suspension.

Asked if any players who missed the draw with Coventry will be available for the trip to Craven Cottage, Parker said: "Doubtful. I suppose it just depends on how tomorrow goes.

"There’s a couple I could make a late call on and we’ll have to see how that is tomorrow really.

"Robbie Brady, Adam Smith are back training, albeit only a couple of days really.

"So other than that, we are where we have been. No denying that we’ve been crippled a little bit over the last four or five weeks with some big injuries, a lot of players injured.

"So I’m hoping over the coming weeks we’ll have a few more back to obviously strengthen us a little bit and give us a bit more depth.

"As we speak at the moment, we are where we are, managing the situation."