Meet the opposition | Fulham
As Swansea City prepare to take on Fulham at the Liberty Stadium on Friday, we take a closer look at the Cottagers.
What’s their story?
London’s oldest club, Fulham have competed in the top tier for 26 seasons throughout the club’s history.
The Cottagers spent 13 consecutive seasons in the Premier League from 2001 until 2014, which saw them become an established top-flight team.
Under the guidance of Roy Hodgson, they reached their highest-ever league placing with seventh during the 2008-09 season, and reached the Europa League final in 2010 only to be defeated 2-1 by Atletico Madrid in Hamburg.
A turbulent campaign saw Fulham relegated at the end of the 2013-14 season, but they returned to the Premier League in 2018 via the play-offs.
However, it proved a brief stay on this occasion, as they were relegated back to the Championship.
How’s their form?
Improving. It’s fair to say Fulham are on the up having had a mixed start to the season.
The Cottagers made a bright enough start and had a run of three successive wins in August before they endured four league games without victory.
Consistency was an issue during those early weeks but the Cottagers have now lost just two of their last 14 games and climbed into the play-off places courtesy of their wins over QPR and Derby following the international break.
They have nine wins to their name at the time of writing, all of them coming against sides currently outside the top 10.
Who's the boss?
Scott Parker. The former England international became Fulham manager on a permanent basis in May 2019 having hung up his boots in 2017.
The 39-year-old is making his first strides in management after a long career operating at the highest level.
Ex-midfielder Parker is the only player to have played for five London clubs in the Premier League. He started his career in south London with Charlton Athletic, and finished his playing career in west London with Fulham. He also played for the likes of Chelsea, Newcastle United, West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur.
After his retirement, he started his coaching career with Tottenham’s under-18s before joining Fulham in the summer of 2018 as first-team coach under Slavisa Jokanovic.
Parker became caretaker boss following the dismissal of Claudio Ranieri in February 2019. He was appointed as the permanent manager of the Cottagers in May after they suffered relegation from the Premier League.
Who are the key men?
Aleksandar Mitrovic has had an outstanding season to this point. The Serbian striker has scored 13 goals in the Championship this campaign, which sees him top the league’s goalscoring charts.
Skipper Tom Cairney, has been a consistent player since joining the club in 2015 and is very much the heartbeat of the side. The skilful midfielder has averaged a pass accuracy rate of 90 per cent so far this campaign and has six goals and three assists under his belt.
Well-known to Swans fans is Alfie Mawson, who missed a large part of the 2018-19 campaign through a knee injury. The defender has featured in all of Fulham’s matches this season and has shown signs of recapturing his best form.