Fulham seem to have a bit of momentum behind them after losing just one of their last four games, but remarkably, they’ve gone on this run without the help of star man Aleksandar Mitrovic.
The Serbian has been Fulham’s best player ever since his arrival back in January 2018, and there’s no two ways about that.
His goals pretty much single-handedly got Fulham into the top six last season, while his 11 strikes in the 2018/19 campaign were a rare bright spark in what was an otherwise dreadful term.
However, this time around the goals have dried up for him.
Indeed, he’s only scored in one game in the league this season, as he netted a brace against Leeds United, but since then, he’s been out of sorts and even out of the team as of late.
It seems as though Mitrovic has lost his mojo, but there could be a way for him to get it back, and it involves two tactical changes.
It doesn’t take the most hardened Fulham fan to tell you that Mitrovic’s main strength is his aerial presence, but that is something the Whites haven’t really been taking advantage of, and that’s partially down to their new full-back pairing.
Indeed, when Fulham aren’t playing a five at the back, their full-back pairing lately has been Antonee Robinson and Ola Aina, and without being too harsh on the pair, they’re not the best crossers in the world.
Indeed, they average just 1.5 crosses per game between them, and when you compare that to the pairing of Joe Bryan and Kenny Tete we were seeing earlier this season, the stats are chalk and cheese.
Indeed, Tete and Bryan average 3.7 crosses per game between them, and they’ve been brilliant when it comes to providing for Mitrovic, with Bryan setting the Serbian up six times last season, and Tete already assisting him twice in all competitions this term, despite only playing three games himself.
Of course, it would be incredibly harsh to drop Antonee Robinson after his recent performances, but having at least one of Tete or Bryan on the pitch would give Mitrovic a little more to work with, and in games where you’d expect him to dominate, it’s a change worth making.
We’re not saying that this should happen every week, after all, Fulham have had their best run of the season without Mitrovic in the XI, but it’s certainly a tactic worth considering for games Fulham expect to have a lot of the ball in.