Fulham boss provides Aleksandar Mitrovic injury hint ahead of Newcastle United clash
Fulham head coach Marco Silva has provided an update on Aleksandar Mitrovic ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash with Newcastle United at Craven Cottage (3pm kick-off).
The former Newcastle striker has been in exceptional form for club and country having recently netted his 50th goal for Serbia during the international break. The goal came in a 2-0 win over Norway and followed a hat-trick in a 4-1 win over Sweden in his previous match.
After ending last season in the Championship with 43 goals in just 44 appearances, the 28-year-old has continued his fine form back in the Premier League with six goals in seven matches so far.
But like several Newcastle players, Mitrovic didn't come through the international break unscathed as he picked up a ‘slight knock’ against Sweden and saw seen wearing heavy strapping around his lower leg and ankle after the Norway match.
Mitrovic scored 17 goals in 72 appearances for Newcastle before joining Fulham on an initial loan deal that was later made permanent. He has since netted 90 goals in 164 appearances for The Cottagers in all competitions.
Mitrovic is undoubtedly a crucial player for Fulham and head coach Silva, who hinted that the striker is in line to start against his former club.
When asked if Mitrovic would be ‘extra motivated’ coming up against Newcastle, Silva said in his pre-match press conference: “He doesn’t need motivation. He's always motivated to play in the Fulham shirt or for the national team."
Silva added: “Eddie [Howe] made a huge impact. The power they showed in the past two windows, the players they signed and the quality makes them a really tough team to beat."
Although Mitrovic is likely to line-up against his former club this Saturday, Fulham will be without Portuguese international midfielder Joao Palhinha for the match due to suspension. Manor Solomon (knee) and Harry Wilson (knee) have also been ruled out by the Fulham boss.
The newly-promoted Cottagers currently sit sixth in the Premier League table with 11 points from their opening 7 games.
Meanwhile, Newcastle sit 10th on eight points as they eye their first away league win of the season.
And three points at Craven Cottage would see United leapfrog Fulham in the table.