Fulham’s poor form continued in midweek after another comprehensive defeat at Swansea, a result that leaves Rene Meulensteen’s side in the relegation zone. The Dutchman understandably earned a fine reputation for his work at Manchester United, but his coaching ability has yet to transfer into managerial success.
Just three wins in his first ten games have highlighted an array of shortcomings within the Fulham squad and a frantic few remaining days in the transfer window will be vital to any potential upturn in their form. Defensive reinforcements are a must for Fulham after a Premier League season where they have conceded 50 goals – at least ten more than any other team. The importance of picking up a good result in this game cannot be understated either – Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea are three of their next four opponents.
Southampton have quietly returned to form amid the controversy caused by Nicola Cortese’s departure from the club and record-signing Daniel Osvaldo’s fight with teammate Jose Fonte. Mauricio Pochettino’s team are unbeaten in five in all competitions despite the absence of key players for various periods, including Ricky Lambert and Dejan Lovren. Their early-season defensive solidity and robustness has disappeared though after a run of just two clean sheets in 14 games.
KICK-OFF: Saturday, 3.00pm
Southampton 2 (Lambert, Rodriguez) Fulham 0, Premier League, October 2013
Fulham 1 (Berbatov) Southampton 1 (Lambert), Premier League, December 2012
Southampton 2 (Fonte 2) Fulham 2 (Hooiveld OG, Richardson), Premier League, October 2012
Southampton 3 (Phillips 2, Rosenior OG) Fulham 3 (Diop, Malbranque, Radzinski), Premier League, January 2005
Southampton are without a win in their last 13 league games at Fulham – a run stretching back to 1947.
Fulham have conceded more home goals (22) than any other Premier League side.
Southampton have won just one of their past eight away fixtures.
Jay Rodriguez has five goals in his last five away games and is one away from his tenth Premier League goal of the season.
Fulham to win: 23.10
Southampton to win: 6.5
TV: Highlights on BBC 1 at 10.35pm