Marco Silva will be a little relieved that West Bromwich Albion were unable to take maximum points from their trip to Barnsley on Friday evening, in preparation for Fulham’s hosting of Sheffield United on Monday evening.
The Cottagers have been forced to look over their shoulders a touch in recent weeks after a run of seven straight league wins has been followed by four draws in succession.
Fulham will have the chance to go six or seven points clear of third place against the Blades, depending on how Blackburn Rovers get on at home to Birmingham City this afternoon, as they get ready to welcome a fellow newly relegated side to Craven Cottage.
Quiz: Have Fulham signed a player from each of these 20 clubs in the last 5 seasons?
Sheffield United had their match postponed last weekend and have only played twice under Paul Heckingbottom, but both of those occasions have yielded three points comfortably allowing supporters to dream again that winning promotion straight back to the Premier League is still achievable this term.
Here, we have taken a look at two dilemmas Marco Silva has at Fulham ahead of their hosting of Sheffield United…
There have been signs, and who can blame them, that the Cottagers have taken their foot off the gas in recent weeks after building a seemingly unassailable lead at the summit of the division.
It is a popular opinion that this Fulham squad would more than likely stay up in the Premier League this season and so it is not a surprise to see a mid-season dip in motivation given their position in the league.
Fulham’s four draws have come against Derby County, Preston North End, Bournemouth and Luton Town, the most recent two are solid points where the former couple represented very winnable affairs.
One of the standout players in the Championship this season has been the Blades’ Wolverhampton Wanderers loanee Morgan Gibbs-White.
The 21-year-old showed his potential in a brief loan spell at Swansea City last term before picking up an injury and has carried on where he left off this season.
The England U21 international has scored five and assisted four in the second tier and has been a consistent performer in a very up and down Blades unit.
Gibbs-White holds the key to the Blades kicking on and pushing for the top six in the second half of the campaign.
Silva will need to put a plan together to deal with the threat he poses or the Cottagers will be looking at their second home defeat of the season.