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Fulham vs Saints: Preview

PUBLISHED

11:51 24th December 2012

Saints travel to Craven Cottage on Boxing Day for the first time since 2004 as they look to pick up their first points of the Christmas schedule.

Saturday’s narrow defeat to Sunderland was only the second loss in seven matches for Nigel Adkins’ side who remain outside of the relegation zone by virtue of a better goal difference than Wigan.

With a solitary win recorded on the road this term, Saints will be hoping that West London remains a happy hunting ground for them, as they aim to repeat their success at Loftus Road over QPR’s neighbours.

At the start of October, Saints struck late on to earn a 2-2 draw with Fulham at St Mary’s as José Fonte celebrated his first goals of the season with a double of headed efforts.

The Cottagers currently sit 13th in the Barclays Premier League table having taken 20 points from their 18 matches played, just five points above Saints and having played a game more.

Our last trip to the Cottage ended in a 1-0 defeat during September 2004. Tomasz Radzinski’s first half header was enough, though Kevin Phillips had a good late chance to square things up for Steve Wigley’s side.

Later on in that season a 3-3 draw was played out at St Mary’s where Phillips was twice on the scoresheet for the hosts.

Of the current squads, Fulham’s Chris Baird is one of the club’s longest serving players having moved there from Southampton in 2007. He’s now made 99 league starts for the Cottagers.

Saints have one former Fulham man on their books, with Steven Davis having played over 20 games for the West Londoners before moving on to Rangers in 2008.

Team News

There are no fresh concerns for Nigel Adkins, who handed Steve De Ridder a first Premier League appearance over the weekend, whilst Zambian forward Emmanuel Mayuka started a top flight match for the first time.

Frazer Richardson has also recovered from injury and was named amongst the substitutes on Saturday.

Fulham suffered a heavy defeat at Anfield over the weekend where they failed to get on the scoresheet. 

Hugo Rodallega’s appearance as a second half substitute may lead to a start for the Colombian forward, with Martin Jol unhappy that his front three couldn’t find a way through at Anfield:

“Our intentions were to play the ball to the front three and get Berbatov into the game and support from midfield - we didn't do it.”

Midfielder Steve Sidwell is however, available again after serving a one-game suspension at Liverpool, and is expected to be restored to the starting line-up.

Bryan Ruiz and Mahamadou Diarra remain on the sidelines though.

Previous Meetings

Our last Premier League meetings with Fulham came in the 2004-05 season with Saints earning a draw on home soil but slipped to a 1-0 defeat at Craven Cottage.

It was a similar story a year earlier when Saints were defeated 2-0 away from home, but held Fulham to a goalless draw at St Mary’s.

There’s only been one goalless draw in the last eleven meetings between the two teams. 

Traditionally, this is a contest which favours the host. Fulham haven’t won in Southampton for 77 years, whilst you have to go back to 1947 for the last Saints success at the Cottage.

Wednesday's game is the 61st all-time meeting between the two teams. Saints have the upper hand with 22 victories to Fulham’s 18. A further 20 games have ended all square.

Match Information

Phil Dowd will referee Wednesday’s game, and he will be assisted by Mr S Child and Mr L Betts. D Coote is the fourth official.

Online Coverage

As with every First Team game, we'll be providing minute-by-minute coverage throughout the day on our official Twitter feed plus goal updates on our official Facebook page.

You can listen to live commentary courtesy of BBC Solent on Saints Player, where you can keep up to date with all the stats and scores from around the country. After Wednesday’s game there will be plenty more content on saintsfc.co.uk and Saints Player, so stay tuned!

We want your photos from the day, which you can upload via Twitter using the hashtag #MarchingIn and the best photos will appear in our New Year’s Day edition of the matchday programme against Arsenal.

You can also email your photos from throughout your trip to programmesfc@saintsfc.co.uk

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