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WATCH: Flying Fulham in European contention under Marco Silva

Sat in seventh position in the Premier League table, the Cottagers have enjoyed an outstanding season under Marco Silva after earning promotion from the Championship last term.

Regularly maligned as a yo-yo club, having been relegated from the Premier League three times in the last nine years, Fulham were widely tipped at the beginning of this season to suffer the same feat after winning the Championship title last year.

Such detractors could not have been more wrong, however, with the Cottagers' opening day 2-2 draw at home to Liverpool immediately signalling they were more prepared for top-flight football this time around, and so it has proved.

Having lost just three Premier League matches all season at Craven Cottage, Fulham have proved a match for almost everyone in this campaign, even defeating close London rivals Chelsea 2-1 in January courtesy of goals from ex-Blue Willian and Carlos Vinicius.

Currently in seventh place in the Premier League, remarkably joint on points with Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool, Fulham are at present in line for qualification to the Europa Conference League, although they have played more matches than the likes of Brighton, Brentford and Chelsea beneath them.

Fulham are also going well in the FA Cup, with a commanding 2-0 victory over Leeds United in the fifth round setting up a quarter-final meeting against Erik ten Hag's Manchester United.

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Fulham's successes this season can largely be attributed to the stellar management of Portuguese Marco Silva and the quality of the club's recruitment in the transfer market.

Ex-Everton, Watford and Hull City boss Silva has the Cottagers playing an attractive, high-tempo brand of football, with the club's perceived overachievement so far this term leading to the 45-year-old becoming lauded as one of the managers of the season.

Although Aleksandar Mitrovic has remained the team's talisman up front, off the back of a record-breaking season in the Championship in which he bagged a staggering 43 goals, it is clear the Serbian has been propped up by an impressive squad around him featuring a plethora of successful new signings.

Bernd Leno, Issa Diop, Joao Palhinha, Andreas Pereira, Willian and Manor Solomon have all been shrewd acquisitions, with Fulham proving both a difficult team to break down and dangerous going forward in the Premier League.

Combative midfielder Palhinha has been a particular standout, with the 27-year-old completing the most tackles by far in this Premier League season so far with 101 since transferring from Sporting Lisbon last summer for £20m.

Manager Silva will have been delighted with how his new recruits have settled to life in English football, with the form of the likes of Palhinha likely to be turning the heads of some of the Premier League's big guns.

Silva and his charges will be hoping they can continue their fine recent form until the end of the season, and complete a stunning campaign by qualifying for Europe for the first time since 2011.

Watch Steve Freeth, Kelly Somers and Sam Matterface discuss Fulham's success under Marco Silva this season in the video above.

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