CENTRE-BACK Chris Mepham says he has "respect" for Aleksandar Mitrovic, but insists there is "nothing to fear" about facing the Championship's leading scorer.

Serbia international Mitrovic has been in scintillating form this season, notching 21 goals in 19 Championship appearances for Fulham.

That puts him top of the scoring charts, ahead of Blackburn Rovers frontman Ben Brereton (16) and Cherries star Dominic Solanke (15).

Cherries have the best defensive record on the road in the second tier this season, conceding just five in 10 matches.

But that will be put firmly to the test when Scott Parker's men head to Craven Cottage on Friday night (7.45pm).

Asked if Mitrovic will be his toughest test of the season as a centre-back, Mepham said: "I think any striker can give you problems on their day, but you look at his goal record this year, it’s definitely something that you look at and you have to respect the qualities that he has as a footballer.

"He’s strong, he’s a very good finisher, I’ve played against him a couple of times. And he’s a tough player to mark.

"But in the team I’ve played against a lot of top players, certainly for Wales and when we were in the Premier League playing top, top strikers.

"It’s definitely nothing to fear, but at the same time you need to respect that he’s someone that’s scored a lot of goals this season.

"Look at the qualities Dom has, you don’t score that amount of goals without having some serious qualities.

"We need to respect the fact that he’s got them but at the same time not going into the game fearing them or anything like that."