Fulham host Bristol City tomorrow as Scott Parker’s side look for a fifth-straight win in the Championship.
Little over a month ago Parker was a man under real pressure at Fulham.
His side had just been beaten 3-0 by Hull City at Craven Cottage and they fell out of the top-six, but four games and four wins later and all is well in South West London.
Their last outing was a fine 2-1 win away at Swansea City where an Aleksandar Mitrovic brace threw the Swans out of the play-off places, and closed the gap between themselves and the automatic promotion places to five points.
Tomorrow they face another top-six opponent in Lee Johnson’s Bristol City. They put five past Huddersfield Town last weekend after being thumped 4-1 by West Brom just days before, and go to Craven Cottage in 5th.
Here we take a look at three ways Fulham can exploit Bristol tomorrow:
Utilise the full-backs
Fulham have played in a 4-2-3-1 formation for the last two outings and to great effect. The two wingers in this set-up, Ivan Cavaleiro and of late, Aboubakar Kamara, love to cut inside and that leaves a lot of space for the full-backs to run into.
We saw a prime example of it in Fulham’s 2-1 win over QPR last month when right-back Dennis Odoi got forward and planted a cross on the head of Kamara to score.
He and Joe Bryan on the left will be pivotal in pinning Bristol back tomorrow, and in feeding Mitrovic with balls into the box.
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Play the Fulham way
Fulham have developed a real distinct style of play under Parker, and that’s possession-based football high up the pitch. When Fulham do this and do it well, teams just can’t get a pass in edgeways against them and tomorrow against Bristol, pinning them back will be a tough assignment.
Bristol have a lot of good players of their own but in-front of their home crowd, Fulham need to go out and there and play their own way, and not give too much respect to Johnson’s side.
Late runs from the central midfielders
In Tom Cairney and Stefan Johansen, Fulham have two central midfielders who can score goals. Cairney scored the third in a 3-0 win at home to Derby last month which took his tally to six for the season and whilst Johansen is yet to get off the mark, he is a player capable of scoring – he scored double-figures in his first two seasons at the club.
Fulham can’t just rely on Mitrovic tomorrow, he’ll need all the help he can get from the likes of Cairney and Johansen, making them late runs into the box and causing all kinds of havoc in the opposition penalty area.