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Fulham away at Southampton :- Match Preview

last updated Friday 05th October 2012, 3:13 PM

Fulham manager Martin Jol
Fulham manager
Martin Jol
Martin Jol
Southampton's season has started rather like a very big dipper, unfortunately one with more downs than ups. Conceding goals at the rate of three a game just cannot continue without terrible damage being done to their season, so the first priority must be to toughen up defensively.

Nigel Adkins has some delightful attacking talent at his disposal. I saw a fair bit of Gaston Ramirez playing for Uruguay's Olympic side in the summer and he is real quality. Rickie Lambert has been hugely impressive in keeping up his impressive goal ratio in a higher division, but Saints are going to struggle to win any points to go with the plaudits if they need to score three times to even get a draw.

Adkins will point to their second-half demolition of Aston Villa as evidence that there are plenty of games Southampton can hope to win - and this must be one of them.

Fulham are not quite the terrible travellers of days gone by - they have actually won four of their last 10 on the road - but they are still prone to some really bad away days and Southampton will hope to make this another.

Fulham missed the guile of Dimitar Berbatov against Manchester City last weekend - who wouldn't? Already most of their play goes through the Bulgarian when he is on the pitch. Mladen Petric is a goalscoring replacement, but cannot match the missing creativity. It goes without saying that a speedy return for Berbatov from a thigh injury would be most welcome.

Defensively Fulham are sound. Goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer - who turns 40 the day before this game - Brede Hangeland and Aaron Hughes are as reliable as ever.

Chris Baird has developed into a useful defensive midfielder whilst Alexander Kacaniklic provides a challenge to full-backs and commentators alike. Throw in Mladen Petric, Hugo Rodallega and Damien Duff and you have some very handy options - it's just that none of them are Berbatov.


  • These two clubs have not met since 2005, the last season of four in which they competed against each other in the Premier League. Over those eight matches, Fulham won three and Southampton won one (four draws).

  • Fulham have not won a league match at Southampton for 77 years.

  • Overall, the two clubs have met 59 time in all competitions - Southampton winning 22 times to Fulham's 18 victories.

  • The clubs first met in 1915, with Saints winning 3-2 at Fulham (after extra-time) to book a place in the third round of the FA Cup.

  • Southampton

  • The club's starting line-up last weekend had an average age (24 years and 221 days) that was fully four years younger than that of Everton's.

  • They have scored as many goals (10) as Arsenal and Swansea this season, only failing to score in one of their six matches.

  • Gaston Ramirez, the club's record £12m signing, has scored one Premier League goal in two starts so far.

  • Fulham

  • The Cottagers have yet to draw in this season's Premier League, winning three times and losing three times.

  • Only Manchester United (14) have scored more league goals than Fulham (13) this season

  • Damien Duff and Mladen Petric have both scored three Premier League goals each this season.

Source Steve Wilson at BBCSports
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