Fulham make the long trip to Middlesbrough knowing that victory will realistically put them on the brink of earning promotion to the Premier League.
While the leaders begin the week with a 14-point advantage over third position, Boro have moved back into the Championship playoff spots after recording successive league wins.
However, a goal in each half from Aleksandar Mitrovic ensured that the Cottagers collected their 24th Championship victory of the campaign, moving them ever closer to an immediate return to the Premier League.
Marco Silva will insist that his team need to take one match at a time but with the teams in third position and lower struggling for consistency, two more wins may be enough to get over the line.
Despite their indifferent form, Fulham make the long trip to the Riverside Stadium with the best away record in the division, collecting 40 points from their 19 fixtures on the road.
Remarkably, this will be the Cottagers’ fifth away fixture in succession, and they have the opportunity to end a testing run with 10 points from a possible 15.
Middlesbrough manager Chris Wilder celebrates at the end of the match on March 5, 2022© Reuters
However, Fulham face opponents in Middlesbrough who have won eight league matches in a row at their North-East home, not dropping points since a 2-1 defeat to Preston North End on November 23.
In sharp contrast, Chris Wilder had witnessed his players struggle on their travels during his reign until their recent successes at Birmingham City and Peterborough United.
Six goals have been scored without reply during that double-header, Arsenal loanee Folarin Balogun netting in both games to take his recent tally to three strikes in four outings.
With five matches still to come at the Riverside, Wilder and his squad will be confident of maintaining their place in the playoffs, but such is the small margin of error that defeat on Wednesday could leave them outside of the top six once again.