Fourth face fifth in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday afternoon, with Fulham heading to Pride Park aiming for the victory which would lift us above Derby County in the table.
The Whites are in the better form of the two of late, but Slaviša Jokanović anticipates a stern test against a strong outfit.
“It’s a tough opponent,” he admitted in Thursday’s pre-match press conference. “They are fighting for promotion and the Play-Offs, like us.
“We’re probably going to find two different styles, but with the same intention of winning three points. We know what they are going to try, they know what we are going to try, too.
“They are a team with strengths and weaknesses, like us. We must be focused, concentrate and show ambition to win the game.
“An important week is in front of us. The first really important step is against a team who, at the moment, made a better job than us.
“They are on one more point than us. We must respect them and trust in our possibility to push hard and fight for three points.
“I am always worried about the opposition team, but in my hands is my team and the preparation of my team is more important, to share and give them information about what they can expect against different opponents.
“Matej Vydra is top scorer [in the Championship], a very good player, I am aware of his quality. We have a special plan for that, he is part of this team and can be very dangerous for us and we must be careful.”
Aleksandar Mitrović has been on target in his last two outings for Fulham, but his Head Coach believes there is more to come from each of the three strikers he has at his disposal.
“He’s scored only two goals with us, we expect he can score more and work harder still,” Jokanović explained. “He can support the team and he can be a really important player.
“We were looking for this kind of striker for a long time and in the end we found someone who I believe can be very important for our team.
“Aboubakar [Kamara] scored eight goals, Rui Fonte scored goals too. Many games are in front of us and I expect all of them are going to fight in every training session for a position in the starting XI.”