Claudio Ranieri knows he needs to blunt the Premier League’s most in-form attack if he is to secure an elusive first clean sheet for Fulham.
West Ham arrive at Craven Cottage on Saturday evening on the back of three straight wins, having scored three goals in each match against Newcastle, Cardiff and Crystal Palace.
The free-scoring Hammers will have Fulham’s defence, the leakiest in the Premier League, in their sights as they bid for a fourth consecutive victory.
But Ranieri, who has now been in charge of the basement boys for a month, is confident that first shut-out is coming.
“The first month has been positive,” he said. “Of course we wanted a little more but I’m satisfied with our job. Now it’s important with this group of matches to make some points.
“Keeping a clean sheet is our first problem, but only with the work we do together every day we can find a solution.
“Now we meet a team who scored three goals every match in the last three matches. But they also conceded goals.
“For us it’s important to find a solution to scoring goals and stay together because they are very, very good players. We have to stay concentrated.”
Ranieri branded his players ‘lambs’ after they succumbed 4-1 at Manchester United last weekend.
He added: “I hope they will be lions now. Be together, help each other with our crowd behind us.
“The qualities of Manchester is better than us but I wanted more concentration, aggression and everything. The second half was much better and I want to follow this way. Play hard, play quickly, try to score.
“Sooner or later we will make the first clean sheet, and I hope sooner rather than later.
“The Christmas period is important for us because we are bottom of the table and I hope by the end of this period we are a little better.”
Fulham will have to face West Ham without Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa after his red card at Old Trafford.
Maxime Le Marchand is still injured but Calum Chambers, Floyd Ayite and Kevin McDonald are available.
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