Scott Parker high-flying Fulham welcomes Bristol City to Craven Cottage on Saturday as they look for their fifth win in a row.
Lee Johnson’s Robins picked up a resounding 5-2 win over Huddersfield Town last time out and they are currently 5th in the table, two places and three points behind their West London opponents.
The Cottagers have really hit their stride in recent weeks, winning four on the spin and another victory on Saturday will help them keep pace with Leeds United and West Bromwich Albion in the race for automatic promotion.
Parker has introduced a possession-heavy style of play since taking permanent charge and Fulham’s sheer dominance of the ball is evident, especially when you consider that they have had 92 attacks this season featuring more than 10 passes that culminated in a shot or touch in the box – 48 more than any other side in the division.
That style has ensured that Aleksandar Mitrovic gets regular service and the big Serb’s brace against Swansea City last weekend took him to 15 for the season.
However, one downside to Fulham’s style of play is that they are very susceptible to being hit on the counter, something that has been a strength for City in this campaign.
One key to Bristol City being so effective on the counter has been their use of a 3-5-2 formation, which allows them to work a low block before springing forward with pace in the wide areas.
They did opt for a more traditional 4-4-2 against Huddersfield but given Fulham’s approach and home advantage, Johnson is likely to switch to three at the back for Saturday’s game.
The Robins have not been particularly consistent this season but they can record back-to-back wins for the first time since August if they triumph at the weekend.
Despite Fulham’s impressive form of late, their recent record against City implies that the away side will have more than a good chance on Saturday; Johnson’s men have won their last four trips to Craven Cottage in all competitions.
Fulham recent form: DLWWWW
Bristol City recent form (all competitions): DDWDLW
Fulham have a mostly fit squad for Saturday’s game, although Harry Arter, Maxime Le Marchand and Bobby Decordova-Reid are all doubts.
Should none of them be fit enough for a first-team return, Parker is likely to field a similar side to that which beat Swansea last time out.
Bristol City are definitely without Benik Afobe, who is a long-term absentee, while Tomas Kalas and Jay Dasilva are both still a couple of weeks away from being able to start.
Nathan Baker is also a doubt, having gone off in last weekend’s game with a dead leg.
As aforementioned, Bristol is likely to opt for a 3-5-2 on Saturday, with Ashley Williams probably being partnered by Taylor Moore and Bailey Wright in defense.
Fulham possible starting lineup:
Rodak; Odoi, Mawson, Ream, Bryan; Johansen, Cairney; Knockaert, Onomah, Cavaleiro; Mitrovic
Bentley; Wright, Williams, Moore; Eliasson, Brownhill, Massengo, Nagy, Rowe; Weimann, Diedhiou.