Southampton take on Fulham at St Mary's at 17:30 on Saturday 26th October
Last season 2-2
Odds: Southampton 8/13, Draw 31/10, Fuham 11/2
Southampton are winning many plaudits this season as they currently sit sixth in the Premier League. Having only conceded three goals so far this season and earned good results at both Anfield and Old Trafford, Fulham will be in for a tough test against the side that has taken 15 points from their first eight games, leaving them in sixth place in the league. Fulham come into this on the back of two consecutive wins, the latter being a 4-1 win away at Crystal Palace which has eased some of the pressure on Martin Jol given the speculation surrounding his future in the early stages of this season.
Southampton seem to have been the most fortunate side in terms of injuries this season, because when they’ve had them, they’ve not been out for long as they go into Saturday’s tea-time game with a clean bill of health. Fulham however could be without defender Brede Hangeland – but could welcome back Aaron Hughes from a groin injury, whilst there are a couple of suggestions that Michael Briggs could be available after undergoing a hernia operation a month ago.
Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert are Southampton’s top scorers in the league with two goals each.
Darrent Bent, Steve Sidwell and Pajtim Kasani are Fulham’s top scorers in the league with two goals each.
Southampton’s last six: Won 3, Drawn 2, Lost 1
Fulham’s last six: Won 2, Drawn 1, Lost 3
Southampton’s home form: Played 4, Won 2, Drawn 2, Lost 0, Goals For 5, Goals Against 1
Fulham’s away from: Played 4, Won 2, Drawn 0, Lost 2, Goals For 5, Goals Against 4
Southampton had 54% possession in their last league match, a 1-1 draw away to Manchester United.
Fulham had 54% possession in their last league match, a 4-1 win away to Crystal Palace
Five players to watch
He is part of the sternest defence in the league this season it seems, but those who remember last season’s clash will know Fonte managed to get a brace against Fulham. Can he get on the scoresheet again, and this time keep Fulham at bay?
Many people are handing Kasami the goal of the season prize for his strike against Crystal Palace on Monday night, will he pull another special out of the bag at St Mary’s?
Having got the final touch for their equaliser at Old Trafford last week, Lallana’s task may be different this week as he faces the challenge of unlocking a Fulham defence who will try to make it difficult for the Saints to have any opportunities.
He scored the other special goal at Selhurst Park on Monday night, but he along with Scott Parker are going to have a difficult battle in the middle of the park against Southampton. A strong and determined effort will be needed from Sidwell here if Fulham don’t want to leave the South coast empty-handed.
If chances do end up being few and far between then Pablo Osvaldo will need to make sure he has his shooting boots on so Southampton can keep up their impressive start to the season by converting the opportunities that fall to him.
Last time they met
Fulham 1-1 Southampton Premier League December 2012
A boxing day fixture at Craven Cottage that finished honours even last season. Dimitar Berbatov gave Fulham the lead early on, and it was a lead they held on to until the 85th minute when the visitors were awarded a penalty when Chris Baird handled inside his own area, allowing Rickie Lambert to convert the spot-kick, a point which moved the Saints a touch away from the relegation zone.
image: © ingythewingy