3 March 2019
The newly appointed Fulham caretaker manager Scott Parker couldn’t have called for a more challenging task to start his new adventure as the relegation fighters welcome Chelsea to the Craven Cottage.
A disastrous run of form has seen the returnees parting ways with Claudio Ranieri earlier this week, as Fulham currently sit ten points adrift of the Premier League safety. The hosts come into this meeting off the back of four consecutive PL defeats in which they’ve conceded ten goals while scoring barely one in the process. Parker’s first task will be to solve Fulham’s defensive problems that have seen the Cottagers allowed 2+ match goals in nine successive outings across all competitions in the build-up to their clash with Chelsea. The Whites have conceded more goals than any other team in the English top tier (63) failing to preserve a clean slate in 26 of 28 PL fixtures so far. The only thing that can console the local fans is that 88.24% of Fulham’s PL points this campaign arrived at home, with the Cottagers winning two of their last four PL home outings (W2, L2).
On the other hand, the visitors have been handed a major boost in their pursuit of the Champions League promotion after beating bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 at midweek. Currently residing just three points beyond fourth-placed Arsenal, the Blues can’t afford another disappointment as they look to bring a three-game PL losing run to an end. The Pensioners have not only lost all three of their last PL away games, but they have failed to find the back of the net, conceding 12 goals in the process. What’s more, Maurizio Sarri’s men are dealing with a negative -1 road goal difference (S19, C20). Five of Chelsea’s six Premier League defeats came away from home, which is the main reason they are not in the top four anymore. Still, the encouraging fact for Sarri is that his players secured a maximum of nine points in three road meetings with the PL bottom-five teams, scoring eight goals while allowing just one along the way.
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