Fulham vs Southampton Prediction
Saturday 31st December 2022
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Where Can I Watch Fulham vs Southampton?
Sky Sports (UK, NI, CI, IoM)
Fulham vs Southampton Prediction Match Overview
The two teams meet for their second Premier League fixtures since the recommencement. Indeed, the game is scheduled for 31 December at Craven Cottage, with kick-off at 3 pm. Both teams are still missing several players, as detailed above. Fulham enjoyed a terrific return to the Premier League with a comprehensive 3-0 victory away to Crystal Palace, who were reduced to nine men following two sendings off. Goals from Bobby Reid, Tim Ream, and Aleksandar Mitrovic sealed the win. Mitrovic also got two assists; his form is crucial as Fulham’s spearhead. The Londoners have been brilliant this season. A yoyo club for years, they sit 7th in the form table over the last six games with 10 points from 18. It could even have been more if not for last-minute defeats to both Manchester clubs. They have only won three from eight at home this season but will be confident coming into this game. They sit ninth in the table with 22 points.
Southampton looked lost in their first match back. Nathan Jones was appointed in early November, but there were few signs of work done on the training pitch during the World Cup as the Saints succumbed to a 3-1 loss at home to Brighton. There was only a James Ward-Prowse goal for consolation. Southampton are in desperate trouble and currently sit bottom of the Premier League table with twelve points. They have lost their last four matches and five of their last six away matches. Their goal difference of minus seven across the previous six is equal-worst alongside Wolves. They concede far more goals than they score, which is a recipe for disaster. They might be approaching this match against an in-form Fulham side with trepidation.
Fulham vs Southampton Team News
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play: Kurzawa (Fulham); Lavia, McCarthy (Southampton)
Will Not Play: Kebano, Solomon (Fulham); Walcott, Livramento, Larios (Southampton)
Fulham (4-2-3-1): Bernd Leno; Antonee Robinson, Tim Ream, Issa Diop, Kenny Tete; Harrison Reed, Joao Palhinha; Willian, Andreas Periera, Bobby Decordova-Reid; Aleksandar Mitrovic
Southampton (4-2-3-1): Gavin Bazunu; Romain Perraud, Lyanco, Mohammed Salisu, Kyle Walker-Peters; Ibrahima Diallo, James Ward-Prowse; Samuel Edozie, Mohamed Elyounoussi, Moussa Djenepo; Che Adams
Fulham vs Southampton Prediction Analysis
The Battle for Midfield
There will be a contest for midfield areas in this game. Reed, Palhinha, Ward-Prowse and Diallo are all fierce and proud competitors. We see this being an intriguing match with lots of challenges and tackles. Southampton were abject against Brighton and surely cannot be that bad again. They must try to restore some measure of pride, at least. For Fulham, Palhinha has been very committed all season. He likes to put his foot in and annoy the opposition midfielders. Ward-Prowse will have to be very composed in possession, as the Fulham players will swamp him when he has the ball and try to stop him from creating from a deeper position. Pereira and Elyounoussi will likely drop deeper from their attacking midfield positions to help their central players. Hence, this could be a game with much action in the midfield. We expect Fulham to smell blood and be fast out of the blocks to try to dominate a weak and struggling Saints side.
Both teams have had a mix of high and lower possession in recent matches. As the home team and arguably the team with more technically gifted players, the onus is on Fulham to take the game to their opposition, and we think they will. They will look to Pereira as the link between midfield and attack in a similar manner as Antoine Griezmann was in the World Cup for France. Pereria is a classy player when he is playing well, and he is capable of creating and helping Fulham dominate this game. Southampton will likely be under pressure for large spells of the game. Despite being a team which likes to press, they might be forced into a low block simply due to being overwhelmed and swarmed by Fulham. This scenario is one possible way the game could go.
Wide Areas and Attackers
Fulham have plenty of quality in the wide and attacking areas. There is the previously mentioned Pereria, who has it in him to unlock and disrupt packed defences. Decrodova-Reid and veteran Willian are also tricky customers who can beat a man and deliver crosses from out wide. Mitrovic is clearly their focal point up front and the primary source of their goals. With Palhinha and Reed covering the attacking Robinson and Tete and the line of three behind Mitrovic interchanging and causing havoc, the Serbian can add to his tally. Lyanco and Salisu are in for a torrid time as Mitrovic’s movement, physicality and prowess in the air are a massive headache for any defender. Bazunu will have to be on form in goal as we expect Fulham to create chances, especially in the air. The wingers cutting inside to shoot is also a threat. Eleven goals in their last six games is a decent return for Fulham, so they have proved they can attack. The creative Harry Wilson and rapid Daniel James are options from the bench.
For their part, Southampton have some tricky players whom Ream and Diop will have to be wary of. Edozie and Djenepo are talented players who can beat a man. They might find some joy when Robinson and Tete are out of position. Perraud and Walker-Peters will conscientiously support them. Again, it is here that the Fulham midfielders will have to be diligent and cover. Elyounoussi has yet to pull up many trees at Southampton but will hope to find some space between the lines. Adams is very hard-working and will run all day, even if the quality and finishing are not always there. Their best source of goals in this game could be set pieces. Ward-Prowse’s corners and direct and indirect free-kicks remain an advantage for Southampton as the Englishman is brilliant from them. Ream, Diop, and Mitrovic’s ability in the air might be a factor in these situations. Stuart Armstrong, Joe Aribo, and Adam Armstrong are reinforcements in the attack. Aribo has that bit of guile which can unlock defences, and he might well be an option to start the game.
Beat the Bookmaker Fulham vs Southampton Prediction
In a surprise to many, Fulham have been excellent this season. Plenty of people expected them to struggle as they have when coming up from the Championship in recent years. However, they are well on their way to 40 points, which will see them safe. Indeed, they will aim to do even better than that. Southampton, alternatively, are in dire straits. One team enters this match full of confidence, and the other with enormous doubts. Yes, it has only been one game since the league returned from its World Cup hiatus, but little has changed for Southampton. Jones hopes his ideas implemented on the training pitch come to fruition in the actual games, but if they do, it will take time. We don’t see Fulham having any problems in this match. They will probably dominate and win by a couple of goals. We see their good form continuing and Southampton’s issues worsening.
Fulham 3-1 Southampton
Beat the Bookmaker Fulham vs Southampton Prediction – Fulham to Win Odds:
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