Victory will be imperative for both Wolverhampton Wanderers and Fulham in a Premier League battle for form on Friday, with the latter looking to vanquish a run of three straight defeats at Craven Cottage.
Both sides have endured respective hindering periods in recent weeks; Wolves have not won in five league outings whilst Fulham have lost four of their past five top division meetings.
Wolves sit nine points above the drop-zone, and will likely avoid a calamitous relegation scrap, but boss Nuno Espirito Santo will be keen to return to winning ways and accrue a respectable number of points in the final stage of the campaign.
Fulham, however, face a far more daunting challenge and languish in 18th place - three points away from safety - and will need to rekindle the resolve and cohesion that has evaded them throughout this current detrimental slump.
Wolves’ injurious campaign begrudgingly continues, with Jonny Otto side-lined for an extended period once again after suffering a second anterior cruciate ligament in as many seasons, whilst Willy Boly remains out after contracting coronavirus.
Espirito Santo offered optimism regarding the availability of veteran playmaker Joao Moutinho, who might return from a slight issue after missing the previous fixture – a 3-2 defeat to high-flying West Ham United.
In terms of selection, Fabio Silva impressed after scoring off the bench against the Hammers and will be eager to play a starting role in place of traditional centre-forward Willian Jose, who is still yet to score following his arrival from Real Sociedad in January.
For Fulham, it is likely boss Scott Parker will field an XI largely unchanged from the team that suffered a late collapse against Aston Villa, although Ivan Cavaleiro is expected to feature in place of Ademola Lookman, who will be absent after sustaining a hamstring injury in the match.
After scoring for the Cottagers last week, Aleksander Mitrovic will hope to retain his talismanic role, and his aerial prowess and physicality will likely be used to combat the Wolves backline.
Fulham: Areola; Tete, Andersen, Adarabioyo, Aina; Reed, Lemina; Reid, Loftus-Cheek, Cavaleiro; Mitrovic.
Wolves: Patricio; Dendoncker, Coady, Saiss; Semedo, Neves, Moutinho, Ait-Nouri; Neto, Silva, Traore.
Ones to Watch
Adama Traore has failed to live up to his captivating expectations this season, still awaiting his first league goal of the season after 29 appearances. He has, however, continued to exhibit devastating pace and elegant guile as he remains a persistent thorn in the backs of opposition defences.
Last time out, a simply fantastic dribble and assist from his own half reminded the masses of his unique abilities, and the Spaniard will now look to build on his previous performance.
With five goals and assists apiece in the Premier League this season, Pedro Neto has emerged as one of the divisions brightest young talents. At only 21 years of age, Neto is nurturing his potential at exemplary speed, and it is surely a mere matter of time before Europe’s most esteemed clubs begin circling.
Neto will look to use his incisive offensive movements to play a pivotal role against Fulham and utilise his broad offensive arsenal to great effect.
Mitrovic has played a largely peripheral role this season after finishing as the club’s top scorer in their last top-flight campaign two years ago.
The Serbian striker started the last fixture and repaid the managers faith with a well-taken finish. He will have a point to prove and will be vehemently seeking his fifth strike of the season on Friday night.
Following defeat to West Ham last time out, Espirito Santo was incensed by the lack of defensive solidarity, and spoke of the need for drastic improvements if an upturn in form is to come into fruition.
"It's my responsibility. It's our responsibility, our mistakes and we will work on that.
"It's something we have to work on and try to improve our players in that aspect to find the solutions. Offensively we were okay, with possession of the ball we created and unbalanced them. But the goals we conceded were all the same and didn't please me."
It will be most intriguing to see how the midlands club have worked on such issues in the build-up to Friday's pivotal encounter.
How to Watch
The Premier League fixture is available to watch on: BT Sport 1 / BT Sport 1HD from 19:30 on Friday, 9th April.
Alternatively, you can follow the live-text updates on the VAVEL page and the Wolverhampton Wanderers Twitter page.