Adrian Clarke looks at key tactical points and players who can be decisive in Matchweek 7.
Scoring only five goals across their opening six matches, Fulham are still searching for attacking inspiration.
So far this season no Fulham player has mustered more than six shots, excluding blocks, which outlines a lack of creative spark in their play.
Silva's side will need to show more potency in the final third if they are to beat Chelsea at home for the second successive season on Monday evening.
As reflected in the table below, there has been a significant downturn from Fulham compared to 2022/23.
Registering only three headed shots in the campaign so far as a team, Fulham no longer have that "fear factor" when balls are sent into the box.
They are creating fewer chances and being less clinical when those opportunities do come their way, so it is no surprise Fulham are struggling for goals.
Fulham's attacking stats comparison
|Player||22/23||PL rank||23/24||PL rank|
|Shots inside box/90||7.55||12th||5.33||20th|
|Conversion rate %||17.50||5th||12.5||12th|
A lot of Fulham’s best moments and performances last season came when they feverishly pressed the opposition.
Showing no fear, Silva’s side were terrific at forcing turnovers, especially during the first half of the 2022/23 campaign.
This time around they have been far less ferocious in their attempts to regain possession in advanced areas.
Possession won in final third comparison
|Fulham||22/23||PL rank||23/24||PL rank|
|Possession won final third/90||4.53||12th||3.17||19th|
If they can get back to a mode of play that sees them apply greater pressure high upfield, it will be a way of carving out extra chances to score.
Facing local rivals Chelsea could be the perfect moment for Fulham to go up a gear when they press.
Silva’s side are making 20 fewer sprints per match than they did last season, so the head coach would be justified to demand greater intensity from his players.
Decrease in sprints
Time for Iwobi?
Summer signing Alex Iwobi scored in an EFL Cup success at home to Norwich City, so must be pushing hard for his first Premier League start in Fulham colours.
Iwobi's goal v Norwich
Come for the one-touch, stay for the finish. 💫 pic.twitter.com/8TBe2xsjq6— Fulham Football Club (@FulhamFC) September 28, 2023
The former Everton star is a very hardworking attacking midfielder, who presses with conviction.
Indeed, no Everton player regained possession more times inside the final third than Iwobi's total of 35 last season, so he could act as a catalyst in that department.
Most Fulham shots 23/24 (exc. blocks)
|Bobby De Cordova-Reid||362||6|
In only 183 minutes of top-flight action this season, 44 of which have been for Fulham, Iwobi has also attempted four shots on goal, so his positivity inside the final third could give Fulham the lift they need.
It should be remembered that Iwobi created 57 chances in open play last season in a struggling Toffees side.
A fired-up Iwobi, eager to impress the Craven Cottage supporters, may just be the spark Fulham need to raise their level against Chelsea.