Fulham enjoyed a great start to the 2016/17 season and were flying high in the opening month of the campaign, only for a run of inconsistent form to drag them back into the mire of mid-table.
The Cottagers have struggled to find their feet in the SkyBet Championship since their relegation from the top flight in 2014, narrowly avoiding relegation to the third tier with 17th and 20th-place finishes.
However, under Slavisa Jokanovic the club appeared to have turned the corner and are making strong strides in their attempt to regain their place in the Premier League. Fulham have won back-to-back matches for only the second time in the term, defeating Wigan Athletic and Nottingham Forest, taking them within striking distance of the playoffs.
Jokanovic will know that his side will need to be flawless down the stretch to ensure that they are competing until the bitter end in the battle to reach the top flight.
A third win on the spin in the Championship will put huge pressure on their promotion rivals.
This means a positive result in their clash against Bristol City is imperative however bookmakers remain optimistic.
It’s worth researching the odds available from some of the top bookmakers but many are currently backing the Cottagers at 11/2 to earn their place back in the Premier League.
Jokanovic’s men will have an eye on payback against City following their 4-0 drubbing at the hands of the Robins earlier in the campaign.
The defeat came in Fulham’s worst spell of the season – a six-match winless run – with the Cottagers being completely outplayed on home soil. Tammy Abraham, Luke Freeman, Bobby Reid and Aden Flint found the back of the net in City’s strongest performance of the season.
After an initial surge at the start of the term, the Robins are now deeply involved in the relegation battle following a miserable spell over the festive period, losing eight matches on the spin.
They’ve managed to right the ship since with a three-match unbeaten run, including an incredible 3-3 draw against Derby County to improve their position slightly.
However, their defensive woes will play into the hands of Fulham, who have been on song in front of goal in their last two matches, scoring six goals to beat Wigan and Forest.
Chris Martin has been a great loan signing for the Cottagers continuing his strong form in the Championship over the past three seasons.
The 28-year-old has notched nine strikes this term, although strikes have come from around the team, allowing Jokanovic’s men not to become one-dimensional in their play.
Stefan Johansen, Floyd Ayite and Tom Cairney have provided excellent contributions from deep, providing impressive support in the final third for Martin.
Those players will be vital in keeping Fulham on track to win promotion and should be eyeing a fruitful evening when they face off against the Robins – who have the fifth-worst defensive record in the division.
On the road the Cottagers have been one of the strongest sides in the Championship.
Only four teams have claimed more points away that Jokanovic’s men, and due to that fact along with their desire for revenge they should be aiming to secure another three points that would put them on track for a playoff place.
Featured image courtesy of Abi Skipp, with thanks.