Preview | Fulham v Swansea City
Swansea City will look to extend their encouraging four-match unbeaten run when they face fancied Fulham at Craven Cottage tonight (7.45pm).
The Swans take on Marco Silva's men on the back of a weekend win over Huddersfield, which was built on a dominant and impressive first-half showing.
They face hosts who were among the pre-season favourites for promotion given the Cottagers have acheived the feat in each of their two previous campaigns in the second tier.
The Londoners have retained the core of the squad that featured in the Premier League last term, while adding the likes of Harry Wilson and Nathaniel Chalobah to their squad over the summer.
But the Swans have already gone toe to toe with one of the promotion contenders in Sheffield United, and head coach Russell Martin will be looking to see a similarly positive approach to underline the progress his side have made.
Russell Martin was hopeful of having Ryan Bennett and Rhys Williams available after the pair sat out the weekend win over Huddersfield Town.
However, striker Michael Obafemi is set to be absent until after the international break after picking up an injury in the draw at Luton.
Russell Martin: “I think [Fulham] have got one of the strongest squads in the league, along with Bournemouth and West Brom, and that’s because of where they’ve come from.
“They obviously have the goals, in Mitrovic. They have one of the most prolific goal scorers at this level, as he showed the last time he’s been in this division.
“It’s going to be a real test for us, but it’s one that we’re really looking forward to after Saturday.
“And I think it’ll be really good football; two teams that try to play in a certain way and stay true to what they do, regardless of the situation.
“So, I think it’s a really good test for us, and it’s come at a really good time.”
Marco Silva: “We have to have more quality up front and be calmer.
“It’s important for us to finalise actions, the last pass and the last cross as well.
“So many times we have arrived inside the box and it was clear the chance we had.
“The first thing is to relax more with the ball, and of course more quality as well.
“We just have to keep working, not just on the pitch, but mentally as well.”
Remember the last time?
Swansea City suffered last-gasp heartbreak as Aleksandar Mitrovic headed in at the death to cap a dramatic conclusion to the last Championship clash between the sides at Craven Cottage in February 2020.
The Serbian had missed a penalty moments earlier as Freddie Woodman denied him following a barely conceivable decision by referee Tim Robinson to adjudge Connor Roberts had fouled Neeskens Kebano.
Woodman, not for the first time this season, guessed right to deny the striker from the spot but he could not keep out his towering header.
The Swans could have left south-west London with all three points themselves with Andre Ayew and Jake Bidwell going close, while the Ghanaian and his team-mates were convinced he should have been awarded a late penalty following a tackle by Denis Odoi.
The Cottagers also had their chances, Mitrovic and Joe Bryan among the men to go close for the hosts before the late drama.
3 – Swansea have won on three of their last four visits to Craven Cottage, winning all three of their fixtures on the banks of the Thames in the Premier League.
5 – Swansea’s tally of five clean sheets this season is the joint-best record in the Championship, with only Birmingham able to match that number.