Can Claudio Ranieri save Fulham? | inside World Soccer


Can Claudio Ranieri save Fulham?

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Fulham made a managerial change before the international break as Slaviša Jokanović was replaced by Claudio Ranieri with the Cottagers on a six-game losing streak.

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The West London club currently sit bottom of the Premier League table on five points with their sole victory at home to Burnley dating all the way back to August.

Ranieri comes with a reputation of Leicester City's shock title win in 2015-16, but it should also be noted that he was fired the following season with the defending champions flirting with relegation.

It simply could be either hit or miss from the Italian manager, but he does have some talented players to work with.

Pressure on Ranieri starts as early as his first game in charge this weekend – at home to Southampton. There are only three points separating the two sides, so the new manager must not only avoid defeat, but look as this game as almost as a must win given that the Saints are fellow relegation contenders.

Fulham have slightly shorter odds than the visitors this weekend but at 2.72 with Matchbook, it's essentially saying that the bookmakers aren't sure which way this game will go. If you're confident in either side then the odds are good to make a nice profit on, which can be increased further with the matchbook bonus code.

The former Chelsea manager is a good tactician and Fulham will be hoping the international break has given their new boss time to fix the leaky defence that has shipped 31 goals in only 12 games this season – six more than any other side.

One problem with Jokanović was that he constantly rotated his defence. There was no consistency at the back. The former manager even used three goalkeepers! Claudio Ranieri needs to settle on a defence, and preferably, he needs to do it quickly before Fulham start falling away from safety.

If Ranieri can sort out the defence then he has a lot of talent to take advantage of in attack.

In the middle of the park is Jean Michaël Seri. The summer signing from Nice is energetic and a playmaker from the middle of the park. Alongside him is Tom Cairney, who scored the winner in last season's Championship playoff final.

Ryan Sessegnon and André Schürrle offer goals from out wide, and if Fulham get the supply right, Aleksandar Mitrović showed in the second tier last season where the back of the net is. The Serbian striker scored five goals in his first six matches this season but hasn't scored since.

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