In desperate need of three points, Fulham make the long trek to the north-east this weekend, to take on Newcastle United.
Claudio Ranieri will be hoping this is the fixture that will see him earn his second Premier League win as Fulham boss, after winning his opening game in charge at home to Southampton, a win that seems to have been an age ago.
But, as we prepare to face Newcastle, we have to ask ourselves what are we up against?
Managed by Rafael Benitez, often in a far from calm scenario under the ownership of Mike Ashley, Newcastle United have turned things around after a poor start to the season.
They now sit in 14th position, in the Premier League, with 16 points, 7 more than Fulham have accumulated.
When it comes to the 17 Premier League games they’ve played, they’ve won 4, drawn 4 and lost 9.
In doing so they’ve scored 14 goals whilst conceding 22 and their recent form is illustrated as thus – WLDLW.
But, it is the fact that Newcastle have only hit the net 14 times all season that gives me cause for optimism.
That figure is less than a goal a game, indicating that, possibly, they don’t create a plethora of chances.
Also, that figure of 14 is two less than Fulham’s total of 16 goals scored.
But, once again, in analysing the figures, we come down to goals conceded, whilst Newcastle have let in 22, Fulham have let in a colossal 42, the highest number in the Premier League.
Which, to me, infers that if Fulham are to get anything at all from this game it’ll be all about making sure the defence remain stoic and resolute and don’t make mistakes.
If in this game, we can keep that elusive first clean sheet of the season then I’ve every confidence we can snatch that rarest of results this season, a win!
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