Brighton v Fulham preview: Bruno set for return, Tom Cairney out
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Last Updated: 01/09/18 2:00pm
Brighton welcome newly-promoted Fulham to the Amex on Saturday and Chris Hughton is plotting how to stop Aleksandar Mitrovic.
The Serbia international, who hit 12 Championship goals to help the west London club to promotion last season, returned to Craven Cottage on a permanent deal in the summer and has continued his form in the top flight with three strikes in three games.
"He has started the season very, very well and I think he's had the continuity from last season," Hughton said.
"He obviously feels very much at home there. We will have to make sure that we stop the supply to him because we know how dangerous he is."
Fulham travel to the south coast on the back of their first Premier League win of the season against Burnley last Sunday, but boss Slavisa Jokanovic is expecting a tough assignment against the side who shocked Manchester United and only narrowly lost to Liverpool last time out.
"We know it's going to be a tough away game for us," he said.
"Brighton played very well against Manchester United and Liverpool. We will look at their strengths and weaknesses and see how we can cause them damage and fight for the points."
Brighton captain Bruno could be in contention to feature against the Cottagers.
The Spanish right-back has returned to training following an ankle injury sustained in the opening-day defeat at Watford.
But centre-back Lewis Dunk remains a major doubt with an ankle problem, while Colombia winger Jose Izquierdo (fitness) and Romania forward Florin Andone (groin) are definitely out.
Fulham will be without captain Tom Cairney.
The skipper injured his foot in last week's win over Burnley and will now spend a number of weeks on the sidelines, where he will be joined by Neeskens Kebano (ankle).
Tim Ream (knock) and Floyd Ayite also miss out as Jokanovic is likely to revert to his strongest line-up after the midweek Carabao Cup win over Exeter.
- This will be the first ever top-flight meeting between Brighton and Fulham.
- Brighton have won each of their last five league games against Fulham, all in the Championship between December 2014 and January 2017.
- Fulham's only victory at the Amex Stadium came in their first ever game there - 2-1 in November 2014 (L2 since).
- Brighton have won just two of their last 12 Premier League matches (D3 L7), both home wins over Manchester United.
- Brighton have won six of their last seven home league matches in September (L1), winning both Premier League games last season against West Brom and Newcastle.
- Fulham's Premier League matches this season have seen the most shots (99) and shots on target (44), with the Cottagers the only team to have both taken and faced at least 20 shots on target (21 attempted, 23 faced).
- Brighton boss Chris Hughton has won all three of his matches against Slavisa Jokanovic while the Serbian has been manager of Fulham, doing so in three Championship meetings between April 2016 and January 2017.
- Fulham have lost their last three away matches in all competitions - their worst run under Slavisa Jokanovic.
- Fulham's André Schürrle had 11 shots against Burnley, the most by a player in a Premier League game this season - the German finally found the net with his 11th attempt in the match.
- Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic has scored 15 league goals since his debut for the Cottagers in February - no player has scored more in the top four tiers of English football since then (Mo Salah also 15).
It's a good game, this. Fulham had a massive result on Sunday, they had to win that one against Burnley. They are a bit suspect at the back, though. Brighton, after beating Manchester United, at home will be full of it. They could beat anyone at home, and Chris Hughton is a good manager so he will make sure they're up for this. If you beat United then lose to Fulham, you haven't really gained anything, so they need to get a result and win the game.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-1 (8/1 with Sky Bet)