How Sheffield United plan to deal with Fulham goal sensation Aleksandar Mitrovic

The numbers are simply incredible.

Saturday, 18th December 2021, 9:16 am

As we head towards the halfway point of the Championship season, Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic is averaging just over a goal a game.

In 21 Championship appearances, the Serb has scored 22 goals and claimed a five assists. That means the 27-year-old has been involved in more than half of the Cottagers’ goals so far this season – and there have been plenty of those, with Marco Silva’s league leaders notching up 51. That’s 14 ahead of nearest rivals Bournemouth.

As Sheffield United head for West London on Monday night, they’re facing a daunting task in keeping Mitrovic at bay but, of course, there's a plan in place and the focus isn’t so much on the striker himself.

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Aleksandar Mitrovic has been in sensational form for Fulham this season, with SHeffield United next up for the Cottagers

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Boss Paul Heckingbottom, while knowing that his central defenders are going to have their hands full in dealing with the Fulham frontman, says it’s crucial that the entire team are on their defensive game, to deal with the problem at source.

"It's difficult,” admits Heckingbottom. “Your plan is to be wary of him. He needs service and if he gets service he scores goals so it's a plan for him, anywhere in the final third is dangerous, especially in and around the box.

SHeffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom says there is a plan in place to stop Aleksandar Mitrovic. Ashley Crowden / Sportimage

"But it also then becomes a bigger picture - how do you stop that service, or limit that service. That's the bigger issue because if we are stopping that that means we are controlling parts of the game which are really important.

"Even if they have got the ball, can we control those parts of the game. It's going to be a good test, it's going to be a good game and we are going to approach it to try and win the game and as I said before there are lots of different ways to do that.

"Whether it's when we have got the ball we have to be creative and we have to be brave; whether it's when they have the ball we have to be strong and be aggressive to win the ball back. We are going to have to defend at times and make sure we are really strong in front of our goal.”