By Declan Walsh

19th Nov, 2020 | 12:26pm

View: Everton must block Fulham supply to Mitrovic to avoid yet another defeat

Everton will be looking to end a rotten run of form on Sunday when they play Fulham at Craven Cottage.

Carlo Ancelotti has seen the Blues fail to win in four Premier League matches, losing their last three against Southampton, Newcastle and Manchester United.

Scott Parker’s Fulham have not been in the best of form so far this season, winning just one of their opening eight matches and losing 1-0 to West Ham in their last match before the international break.

But that doesn’t mean the Cottagers don’t have the means to threaten Everton this weekend in the capital with Parker taking full advantage of the big Serbian up front – Aleksandar Mitrovic.

Fulham’s style of play is fairly predictable.

They have a 6ft 2, bulky striker who likes to put himself about and win the ball in the air for fun.

Stats by WyScout show that Mitrovic ranks 11th for the number of aerial duels he’s been involved in this season [77] out of all players in Europe’s top-five leagues. In the Premier League, he ranks third.

Mitrovic also ranks third in the Premier League for the number of shots at goal he’s had this season [29], with only Harry Kane [36] and Mohamed Salah [32] having more than him.

And, unsurprisingly, no player has headed more efforts at goal than the Fulham striker this season, who’s steered 13 efforts towards goal with his head.

Mitrovic has managed to head so many efforts at goal due to Fulham’s insistence on peppering crosses into the penalty area.

According to WyScout, Fulham have put more crosses into the box [157] than any other team in the Premier League.

What can Everton do to contain Mitrovic?

While the Serbia international has shown he’s a massive threat in the air, his conversion rate has been fairly poor.

Mitrovic has scored just two goals this season and both of those came against Leeds, who have the highest xGA in the Premier League so far this term [FBRef]. And the Fulham striker’s xG this term in the league suggests he should have scored at least four goals [WyScout].

Everton cannot just rely on Mitrovic to underperform though and need to craft a plan to keep the colossal Serbian quiet.

One way would be to stop crosses into the box by doubling up on Fulham’s wide players and forcing them to come inside and play more narrow. It could also help to play fewer risks in the defence to avoid giving away free-kicks.

Everton need to get back to winning ways or, at the very least, stop their rotten losing streak this weekend against a team who is one of the favourites to get relegated.

Keeping close tabs on Mitrovic and cutting off his supply will definitely help them do that.

In other Everton news, Fabrizio Romano has shared an update on Moise Kean’s future at Goodison Park.