Ranieri calls for Fulham fight
Fulham boss Claudio Ranieri says he "needs soldiers" from now until the end of the season in the battle against the drop.
The Cottagers have lost five of their last six matches in all competitions - which included defeat to Oldham in the FA Cup - and the club currently occupies 19th position in the league, seven points adrift of safety.
On a positive note, Fulham did win their last home match, beating Brighton 4-2 after coming from 2-0 down at half-time, and the west London outfit will be hoping for another three points when they play host to Manchester United on Saturday.
The Red Devils are still unbeaten under interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer while the 20-time English champions are unbeaten in the last 11 meetings with Fulham, with the reverse fixture this season finishing 4-1 to United.
Despite things looking bleak for last season's Championship play-off winners, Ranieri is remaining bullish about the club's survival chances and has urged his players to act like "soldiers".
"The job every season is different. We know where we are, we know it's a very tough moment," he said at a press conference. "We need soldiers who will fight until the end. That is my opinion, my philosophy.
"We know we are playing a very big team. They are fighting for the Champions League and also to achieve the Champions League for next year, but we are ready to fight in every moment."
Serbia international Aleksandar Mitrovic has bagged 10 league goals this term and punters may decide to use their free bet on the striker guiding Fulham to a much-needed win this weekend.
James Mason grew up in Northumberland so is entrenched in both the football and golf scenes. A low handicap golfer, he also follows Newcastle United and predicts big things under Rafa Benitez.