The international break was an intriguing one from a Fulham point of view.
A number of the Whites’ players went off and did their thing, but the man who made the most headlines was undoubtedly Aleksandar Mitrovic.
The Serbian scored five goals in three games, broke his country’s all-time scoring record and bagged an incredibly audacious chip against Ireland.
As you can imagine, this has promptly led to a number of Fulham fans calling for Mitrovic to be given another chance in the starting XI, and while that’s not the worst idea in the world, now is not the time for that.
Indeed, while we love Mitrovic as much as the next person, Aston Villa aren’t the team you want to unleash the Serbian against.
As we all know, the striker is at his best when he can dominate the game in the air and hold up the ball, and unfortunately, this game isn’t the type of match where that sort of tactic will prove all that fruitful.
Villa’s centre-back pairing of Ezri Konsa and Tyrone Mings are one of the only centre-half duos in the country that could give Mitrovic a run for his money both aerially and physically.
The Midlands club with the second-most aerial duels of any team in the division, while Konsa and Mings both also have immense strength to go alongside their prowess in the air, and that could cause Mitrovic problems.
This match would surely be better suited for a player like Josh Maja, someone who can drop a little deeper, make darting runs in the area and exploit someone like Mings for his defensive shortcomings, rather than attempting to outdo him in a physical battle.
Perhaps this would even be a game for Ivan Cavaleiro to start as a number nine, his pace and pressing could be exactly what the doctor ordered when Fulham inevitably need to counter-attack against a Villa team that can sometimes overcommit going forwards.
Mitrovic’s time will come, he’s earnt his shot with his international exploits, but we can’t help but feel Aston Villa are one team he’s not suited to playing against.