Premier League surprise package Southampton visit Fulham on Boxing Day. Ralph Hasenhüttl’s troops sit in seventh, just two points off a Champions League place and the Austrian’s fine work has caught the eye of a number of top European clubs. Elsewhere, the Cottagers are in the relegation zone but look a different side to the one that started the campaign.
Where and when: Craven Cottage, Fulham – 26 December, kick-off 15:00
Where you can see Fulham vs. Southampton: Sky Sports Main Event
Last time: Oriol Romeu and James Ward-Prowse scored in a routine win for the Saints in February 2019.
Fulham v Southampton Predictions and Preview
After five defeats from their first six matches, Fulham looked set for an instant return to the second tier. The Cottagers largely went with the same group of players that won the Championship play-off final at the expense of Brentford, but Scott Parker quickly found out he needed reinforcements.
The young tactician brought in Joachim Andersen, Tosin Adarabioyo, Antonee Robinson and Ole Aina and the quartet, with stopper Alphonse Areola, have transformed Fulham’s defence.
|Our Eurotips||Odds||Free bets||Bookie|
|Southampton to win 2-0||11/1||Offer|
|James Ward-Prowse to score anytime||5/2||Offer|
|Over 3.5 goals||11/4||Offer|
Andersen was strongly linked to Arsenal and Tottenham before Lyon acquired his services from Sampdoria and Jose Mourinho was an admirer during his time in the Old Trafford dugout.
The centre-half has settled in the Premier League with ease and impressed so much his boss has handed him the armband in the absence of Tom Cairney. Meanwhile, Robinson would have been turning out for Milan were it not for a failed medical, and Areola comes with much pedigree after scooping honours with both Real Madrid and PSG.
Aleksandar Mitrovic will lead the line and has three goals and two assists from 14 appearances. The burly hitman is 5/1 to open proceedings and will be supported by Ademola Lookman and Bobby Decordova-Reid. Lookman is 3/1 to net anytime and Reid, who averages one in three this season, can be found at 11/4. Fulham are 21/10 to clinch the spoils and a draw is 9/4.
Travelling party Southampton are without Danny Ings after the star attacker limped off against Manchester City. The Saints talisman is expected to sit out the festive period as a precaution and Che Adams will be tasked with troubling the Cottagers’ backline.
One to watch for Fulham: Ruben Loftus-Cheek has yet to get going for the Cottagers but Parker revealed the loanee will have a big role to play over the next five months. The England international is 14/1 to notch last.
One to watch for Southampton: Jannik Vestergaard has chipped in with three headers and is a huge threat from set pieces. The giant Dane is 17/2 to bag anytime.
Long shot: Fulham beat highflying Leicester at the end of November, no mean feat considering the Foxes have toppled Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur, and were very unlucky not to get the better of Liverpool on Matchday 12 after blowing the champions away in the first-half. A 2-0 success in favour of the Cottagers is 16/1.