After three draws in a row, we need a win. Will a Southampton side with a lot of injury problems and a suspension give us a Boxing Day present.
Merry Christmas Fulham fans! Our last match against Newcastle was a joke but with Joachim Andersen having his red card overturned we have a good chance of getting points against high flying Southampton. Southampton have Danny Ings, Jannik Vestergaard and Nathan Redmond all doubts for Saturdays game as well as Oriol Romeu suspended. If we can perform as we have recently, we can cause an upset.
In terms of team selection, I would make one inforced changed to the side that drew to Newcastle. That is bringing Reed in for the suspended Lemina. This means Areola starts in goal, a back four of Aina, Andersen, Adarabioyo and Robinson, Anguissa and Reed holding with Cairney as a number 10, and a front three of Decordova-Reid, Mitro and Lookman.
I think we will win 2-0 with a Mitro and Decordova-Reid goal.
HEAD TO HEAD
LEAGUE RECORD (OVERALL)
- GAMES PLAYED – 60
- FULHAM WINS – 17
- DRAWS – 19
- SOUTHAMPTON WINS – 24
- GOALS SCORED – 74
- GOALS CONCEDED – 100
LEAGUE RECORD (HOME)
- GAMES PLAYED – 30
- FULHAM WINS – 16
- DRAWS – 11
- SOUTHAMPTON WINS – 3
- GOALS SCORED – 46
- GOALS CONCEDED – 31
BIGGEST WINS AT CRAVEN COTTAGE
- FULHAM 3-0 SOUTHAMPTON (1906/07 & 1926/27)
- FULHAM 0-3 SOUTHAMPTON (2013/14)
LAST 5 GAMES
- FULHAM 0-1 SOUTHAMPTON
- SOUTHAMPTON 2-0 FULHAM
- FULHAM 3-2 SOUTHAMPTON
- FULHAM 0-1 SOUTHAMPTON
- FULHAM 0-3 SOUTHAMPTON
- FULHAM – WLDDD
- SOUTHAMPTON – LWWDL
COLLINS JOHN’S VIEW
Southampton are a good side, Ralph Hasenhüttl has done a great job there and they currently sit just a couple of points off of the top 4, so this won’t be easy. They have a lot of power and pace up front with the likes of Danny Ings and have added quality this season with Theo Walcott returning to his boyhood club.
We were unlucky not to win up at Newcastle. The red card has been rescinded which is good news because it was very unfair. However, you are always leaving yourself vulnerable to throwing away three points if you don’t create many chances when you are on top. It was a comfortable evening until the red card, Newcastle didn’t pose any threat but despite how comfortable we were, we didn’t create much either. On one hand, it’s a positive that we are now 3 games unbeaten but it’s also 3 more games without a win and points are the only solution to our position in the league. Burnley have been less impressive in their performances but have won games and got themselves out of the bottom three, that’s what we need to start doing.
I’m so pleased to see Mitrović back involved. He was a handful for the Newcastle defence and his presence made space for the rest of the attacking players. Cairney looked solid too. Our midfield is so strong this year and we seem to dominate a lot of the game. Our defence is solid, especially with Andersen able to continue on Boxing Day. The only thing we lack is the ability to kill games off and without that, it’s going to be tough to win enough games to stay in the Premier League.
I think this will be a tough game, Southampton will score but the lads will save the best Xmas present until last and win this one by a narrow margin.
PREDICTION: FULHAM 2-1 SOUTHAMPTON
LAST TIME OUT
FULHAM 0-1 SOUTHAMPTON (2019/20)
The last time we played Southampton we lost 1-0 at Craven Cottage in the Carabao Cup Second Round. Michael Obafemi got the only goal against a Fulham side starting Kevin McDonald at centre back and now free agent Matt O’Riley. It is sad to see a player that was being monitored by Borussia Dortmund in 2019 now can’t find a club. Once dubbed a future Fulham captain, now six months without a club.
PLAYERS IN COMMON
Micky Adams, Jimmy Allen, Chris Baird, Dave Beasant, Ian Black, Mark Blake, Luis Boa Morte, Wayne Bridge, Calum Chambers, Glenn Cockerill, Steven Davies, Iain Dowie, Fabrice Fernandes, Danny Guthrie, Kasey Keller, Paul Moody, Alan Nelson, Antti Niemi, Ian Pearce, Maarten Stekelenburg, Matt Targett, Maik Taylor.
BATTLE TO WATCH
HARRISON REED VS JAMES WARD-PROWSE
James Ward-Prowse is a 26-year-old central midfielder who has played at Southampton since he was 8. James made his debut at the age of 16 and has played 293 times for the club, however it was since the appointment of German Ralph Hasenhuttl, that he has taken his game to another level. Known for his talent for set pieces, Hasenhuttl has moulded him into a hard-working, tough-tackling midfielder, who is now a regular in the England squad. His battle with former Saint Harrison Reed should be interesting with both players eager to get one over on each other.