Fulham will lock horns with Bournemouth at Craven Cottage in a Premier League fixture on Saturday afternoon.
The Cottagers threw away a two-goal lead in a 2-2 draw with relegation-threatened Burnley last weekend. Thus, they have a point to prove this weekend after being inconsistent for large parts of the campaign.
The Cherries, on the other hand, were held to a 1-1 draw by Nottingham Forest, which stretched their winless run in the top flight to four games. They sit just one place and one point above Fulham in 12th spot, albeit with a game in hand.
With both teams in desperate need of points, here are the key battles on the pitch to watch out for.
#Dominic Solanke vs Fulham centre-backs
Dominic Solanke is tearing apart Premier League defences currently with Bournemouth. The Englishman has scored 12 goals in 20 appearances so far and is in the race for the Golden Boot. If he can match the stats of his first half of the season, he will easily cross the 20+ goals mark.
Monitoring his movement in the final third is a tough task as he is perennially on the move, and the Fulham centre-backs will have to be defensively alert if they intend to keep the striker at bay. With Issa Diop out with a hamstring problem, Marco Silva should field a centre-back pairing of Tosin Adarabioyo and Tim Ream.
Tosin and Ream were part of the Fulham backline that threw a two-goal lead at Burnley last weekend, so the duo must show drastic improvement to stop Solanke from scoring.
#Rodrigo Muniz vs Marco Senesi
Raul Jimenez (thigh) will not be returning for another couple of weeks, so Rodrigo Muniz is expected to lead the Fulham attack again. Muniz doubled Fulham’s lead against Burnley with a delightful lob over James Trafford last time out, and he will be coming into this game hungry to get on the scoresheet again.
Standing in the way of the Brazilian striker will be Marco Senesi. The Argentinean must take responsibility for leading Bournemouth’s defence against Marco Silva’s men. The Cherries’ stopper dealing with Muniz promises to be a key battle as the Fulham striker can cause problems for the visitors.
#Marcus Tavernier vs Antonee Robinson
Bournemouth’s Marcus Tavernier is a testing foe for any full-back. His turn of pace, movement and directness will need extra attention from Fulham on Saturday.
If Bournemouth can exploit the space vacated by Antonee Robinson down Fulham’s left, as many sides attempt to do, then Tavernier can enjoy himself at Craven Cottage. As much as Robinson is an enterprising left-back and loves to go forward, he will have to be up to the task defensively this weekend.