I’m glad we’ve managed to put 35 points on the board ahead of this fixture.
On the basis we (probably) won’t lose all 8 of our remaining games, we should stay up.
But that doesn’t mean defeat here won’t have us anxiously peeking over our shoulders in the weeks to come.
Even a point at Craven Cottage should extinguish those lingering fears and given they’ve won just 2 of 16 home matches (against the two other sides in the bottom three), it’s not a big ask.
Why then, do I suspect we’re not going to do it?
After winning at Anfield last month, the Fulham survival charge was in full flow, but three consecutive defeats have checked that progress.
With seven games remaining and trips to Chelsea, Arsenal and Man Utd still to navigate, the door is creaking shut.
But more enticing fixtures against Burnley, Newcastle, Southampton and well, us, give them hope they can get to the mid-30s and at least put pressure on those immediately above the dotted line.
Defensively, they’ve sharpened up as the season has gone on but have paid the price at the other end of the pitch with just 24 goals scored. Only Sheff Utd (17) have managed less.
Scott Parker said they’re not ‘streetwise’ after surrendering a second-half lead to lose 3-1 at Villa Park on Sunday and that’s probably a fair assessment.
Individually, they’ve got a lot of good technical players and plenty of pace in the attacking areas, but have lacked the know-how in key moments to get the necessary results.
I think it will be them or Newcastle that drop and currently I’d just about give Newcastle the edge based on them having played a game less with three more points on the board. But it’s going to be close.
I was surprised Nuno went ‘all out’ against West Ham given that the back three has given us the platform to survive. I’d revert back sharpish on Friday.
We can’t give Fulham any gifts so if Moutinho is fit, I’d put him into the midfield and shift Dendoncker into the back three.
Failing that, I’d bring Kilman in and keep Donk in the midfield. Either way, we can’t afford to be so open.
There’s a huge temptation to start Fabio in place of Willian after his expertly taken goal against West Ham, but we need the presence of the big man to help us get a foothold in the game.
Last time out
We won a tight game at Molineux earlier in the season thanks to Pedro Neto’s excellent strike.
It was a functional performance and Fulham missed a golden chance to equalise late on. That result now seems huge in retrospect.
Nobody correctly predicted the 3-2 defeat to West Ham.
Bedford Wolf is joined by Mildenhall Wolf at the top of the overall table at the end of Gameweek 30.
As always if you’d like to join in, simply leave your prediction for this game in the comment section below, which is where you’ll find my best guess.
Up The Wolves!