With around a third of the season now left to play in the Premier League, things are beginning to take shape at both ends of the table and despite Manchester City looking like the title is theirs to lose the remainder of the league placings are very much open to change even in the bottom three.
At first glance the three sides who currently occupy those places look destined to stay there, a lack of wins between all of them is of course the telling story and the gap for both Sheffield Utd and West Bromwich Albion to catch the safety line is starting to look like miracles will be needed.
For Fulham and Scott Parker however the gap closed slightly at the weekend after a surprise 2-0 win at top four chasing Everton and also gave them some breathing space inside that relegation zone ahead of some very crucial games for the West London outfit.
That win was Fulham’s first since November although there have been signs over the past four or five games that Parker’s team are responding to what’s being asked of them and despite only one loss in those games, too many have been drawn. That’s not to say they might not prove to be crucial points won by the end of the season; time will tell on that score but by the end of this month that might be a little clearer.
As has been the case throughout this campaign games have come thick and fast in order to get the season completed before the summer European Championships delayed from last year and there is very little time to train, to dwell on a good or bad result, it’s very much get on with the next one.
And this is indeed the case for the Cottagers this week as they face two games of huge proportions in their quest to retain their Premier League status travelling midweek to face a Burnley side eight points better off than themselves before the Blades visit Craven Cottage at the weekend. Four points from those two games could see Parker’s side just three points behind Newcastle Utd by the time the Geordies travel to Manchester Utd on Sunday evening.
What does help Fulham is their current goal difference which in itself can be viewed as almost an extra point, both West Brom and Sheffield Utd are in excess of minus twenty and thirty which is no good when a point can lift you above another team thanks to that difference and that could prove what’s needed to get the Cottagers out of the bottom three by the end of February.
Too many more drawn games however will not help when wins will be needed, but if Josh Maja can find the net consistently over the final part of the season after his two debut goals at Everton then they will be in with a chance of survival.
As the table stands at the moment the season is set up nicely on the final day as Newcastle head to West London, what price would you put on this game providing the drama and conclusion of a relegation shootout for Premier League survival.
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