Fulham really need things to start going their way if they’re going to avoid relegation this season.
They need to start creating chances, scoring goals and keeping things tight at the back.
And they also need to get the best out of their January signing Ryan Babel.
So far, the former Liverpool forward has played in four matches for the Cottagers; three defeats – including their 3-0 drubbing against Man United last time out – and one win.
But there’s been no goals so far – until now.
Starting tonight in Fulham’s trip to West Ham, Babel was presented a golden opportunity to break his duct after just 40 seconds.
It was all thanks to Hammers defender Pablo Zabaleta, who played a hopeless backpass to his goalkeeper that was easily intercepted by Babel.
He then advanced on Lukasz Fabianski and played a step-over or two, before smashing the ball straight into the face of the Polish shot-stopper.
What a miss!
Luckily for Babel, he was presented with another opportunity just minutes later, courtesy of another error from Zabaleta.
The veteran defender failed to track Ryan Sessegnon on the left flank and the winger immediately played a low cross into the six-yard box, which Babel gratefully got onto the end of.
That’ll be a big sigh of relief from him.
Fulham are currently 19th in the Premier League table and will be competing with Southampton, Cardiff, Newcastle and Burnley to stay up this season.
But Ranieri’s side have conceded an eye-watering 58 goals – 10 more than any other side – so will need to desperately fix things up at the back if they’re to pull off the ultimate survival.
Worth keeping an eye on this one.
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