Fulham sign Algerian International defender Rafik Halliche

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After their 2-2 draw at home to Manchester United on Sunday, Mark Hughes is looking to build on the optimism surrounding the club and believes new signing Rafik Halliche will strengthen the Fulham back four.

Having spent the last two seasons on loan at Portuguese team C.D. National, the 23-year-old Algerian was looking for a move away from Benfica and has penned a three-year contract with the London club.

Halliche has 20 caps to his name for Algeria and the centre back is ever-present in a side that reached the 2010 African Nations semi-final and conceded only two goals in their 2010 World Cup campaign.

Hughes is considering whether or not to throw Halliche straight into the Fulham team for tomorrow’s Carling Cup tie with Port Vale at Craven Cottage as the exploits of Sunday’s result may have taken its toll on the squad.

The euphoria surrounding the result against the red of Manchester means the Fulham fans believe Hughes can build on the success of last season and they are 4/9 to beat Port Vale tomorrow night.

With previous manager Roy Hodgson’s Liverpool suffering a heavy defeat against the blue side of Manchester last night, the Cottagers are sensing that life without Hodgson may not be so bad after all.

Fulham, unsurprisingly, are a long shot to break into top four at 40/1 but a place in Europe is certainly achievable and if Liverpool can’t shake off last season’s hangover soon, Hodgson could soon find himself wishing for his Fulham job back.

Roy Hodgson is currently 20/1 to be the next Premier League manger to leave.

A second string Fulham side may allow Port Vale to sneak a draw tomorrow. See the full Fulham vs Port Vale match betting here.

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