Meet the opposition | Fulham
As Swansea City prepare to host Fulham at the Swansea.com Stadium on Tuesday evening, we look at the history, form, and key figures for the Cottagers.
What's their story?
London’s oldest club, Fulham 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; and their two returns to the top-flight since have ended in immediate relegation with them now once again back in the Championship.
How’s their form?
Very good. In fact, it's the best in the league over 10 games. The Cottagers have suffered just one league defeat this calendar year picking up a massive 28 points and scoring 33 goals. The solitary defeat came at home to Huddersfield Town, while Josh Bowler's second half strike cancelled out Aleksandar Mitrovic's goal when the points were shared against Blackpool.
Who's the gaffer?
Marco Silva. The Portuguese manager is back in football having taken a break following his departure from Everton in December of 2019.
A defender during his playing days, the now 44-year-old started his managerial career by guiding second-tier Estoril to the title and a top-flight return after a seven-year absensce.
Stints with Sporting Lisbon - where he won the Portuguese Cup - and Olympiacos - where the league title was secured - followed before he made the move to English football with Hull in January 2017.
Their impressive home form nearly saw him guide the Tigers to safety, but they were relegated and he departed to take over at Watford.
He made a fine start to life at Vicarage Road before an alarming loss of form saw him depart and he subsequently joined Everton in the summer of 2018.
Who's the captain?
Tom Cairney. After a long spell on the sidelines with a knee injury, midfielder Cairney’s return to action bolstered an already-strong Fulham squad around Christmas.
The 30-year-old came through the ranks at Hull before making a move to Blackburn in 2013.
After two years at Ewood Park he joined the Cottagers in the summer of 2015 and quickly became an integral figure.
He has more than 220 appearances and two promotions to his name with Fulham.
Cairney has missed the past three games through illness, but is back on the grass with the team and could make his return to the squad on Tuesday. In his absence, 34-year-old defender Tim Ream has been wearing the armband.
Who are the key men?
Record-breaker Aleksandar Mitrovic is enjoying another sensational season at Championship level with 34 league goals under his belt already this campaign.
He has twice helped fire them to promotion since joining in January 2018. He's on track to achieve this again currently recording more than one goal a game. He is yet to go more than two league matches without scoring in the current campaign.
On the international front he also scored the key goal to ensure Serbia qualified for next year’s World Cup in Qatar without the need to resort to the play-offs.
Liverpool product Harry Wilson is enjoying a fine first season with Fulham following his £12million move last summer.
He has ten goals and 12 assists and has quickly established himself as a key player at Craven Cottage.
American defender Tim Ream, meanwhile, took the captain’s armband earlier this season during Tom Cairney’s enforced absence, a sign of the value of his experience and know-how to the Cottagers.
The 34-year-old has been with Fulham since 2015 and he has made over 200 appearances since; marking himself out as a key part of their promotion campaigns in 2018 and 2020.