By Thomas Reynolds
Last Updated: 20th February 2019
Fulham are already very nearly on course to break the Premier League record for most concessions in a single 38-game season ahead of merciless month of fixtures March.
The Cottagers are shipping at average of 2.23 goals per game over so far this term, after letting in 56 goals across their first 26 games.
Should they continue to concede at this rate for the remainder of the campaign, they’ll fall five strikes short of the 89 given up by Derby County in a nightmare 2007/08 season, when the Rams also set a mark for fewest points achieved (11).
Could things be about to go from very bad to even worse for the Fulham defence?
With the arrival of Claudio Ranieri failing to stem the tide of defensive generosity ahead of a brutal March in which Chelsea, Leicester, Liverpool and Manchester City are on the agenda, the spectre of the unwanted record looms large.
Not that the frail Fulham rearguard or the side’s suffering fans can expect too much respite between now and then, with trips to West Ham and Southampton on the horizon.
Ranieri’s side have now given up at least two goals in each of their past seven outings across all competitions, including such moderate opposition as League Two Oldham, Burnley, Brighton and Crystal Palace.
In such circumstances, odds of 4/5 about the Irons scoring over 1.5 goals in their Friday night London Stadium matchup seems like the height of generosity.
The east London side were two up inside half an hour when they visited Craven Cottage earlier this season and they’ve put at least two past six of the last seven non ‘big six’ sides to visit them.
Similarly, Southampton, who also bagged twice at the Cottage earlier this term, haven’t been shut out in seven home games and counting under Ralph Hasenhuttl.