Eddie Howe knows Newcastle United will need to keep Aleksandar Mitrovic quiet if they are to beat Fulham this afternoon.
The former Magpies striker is in the form of his life with only Manchester City’s Erling Haaland scoring more this season.
Mitrovic scored a record-breaking 43 goals in the Championship last term and following the Cottagers’ promotion back to the Premier League, the Serb has netted six times in seven games.
The 28-year-old’s form is just one of the reasons why Marco Silva’s men sit sixth in the table with 11 points from their opening seven fixtures.
“A number of reasons,” Howe said when asked why Fulham had started so strongly. “I think firstly, their centre-forward, (Aleksandar) Mitrovic, last year had an incredible season but he’s carried that form into this, not just for his club but for his country.
“If you have a striker in that form, with the potency that he has at the moment, that’s a really good foundation for success.
“Then off the back of that, they’ve got very good structure, a really good way of playing. I think Marco (Silva)’s has done a very, very good job with his team.
“It’s going to be a difficult game for us - but one we know that if we get everything right ourselves, we can win.”
A plan to stop Mitrovic
Howe has a plan that will hopefully limit Mitrovic’s involvement.
The Magpies head added: “He’s got very good strength. We have worked on, as we would with every opposition, trying to stop him and stop the supply to him.
“You have your plans for every game, sometimes they work better than others.
“We will be really well prepared and hopefully give a good account of ourselves.”
After joining from Anderlecht in 2015 for £13million, Mitrovic scored 17 goals in 72 appearances for Newcastle before joining Fulham on a loan deal that was quickly made permanent.