23rd of November 2018 Author: Johnny Karp
New Fulham manager Claudio Ranieri will start his spell in command of the Cottagers on Saturday, when they host Southampton at Craven Cottage in London. The two teams have met in the FA Cup last season and Southampton pulled through with a 1-0 victory thanks to a first-half goal scored by James Ward-Prowse. The Saints also won both Premier League matches against the Cottagers during the 2013-2014 season, when Fulham got relegated to the Championship. Overall, Southampton have won three of the last six direct matches against Fulham, the Saints have not lost against the Cottagers since 2004.
Fulham had a terrible season so far, with nine out of twelve Premier League matches lost, just one victory since the start of the campaign and seven consecutive defeats in all competitions before the last international break. Those results led to the dismissal of manager Slavisa Jokanovic, and the club announced the appointment of former Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri on the same day. The Italian manager will have a tough task in saving the Cottagers from relegation, but his experience could make a difference. Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa and Kevin McDonald are the only injury concerns for the home side.
Southampton haven't been doing much better this season, they are just above the relegation zone after having collected just eight points from the first twelve Premier League matches of the campaign. Moreover, the Saints have won just one match in the Premier League so far, and that was all the way back at the start of September. However, they can be happy with having lost just one of their last four matches, the other three were draws against Bournemouth, Newcastle and Watford. Ryan Bertrand is suspended for Saturday's match, while Mario Lemina and Mohamed Elyounoussi are injury doubts for manager Mark Hughes.
Fulham: Bettinelli - Fosu-Mensah, Ream, Mawson, Bryan - Vietto, Seri, Cairney, Sessegnon - Schurrle - Mitrovic
Southampton: McCarthy - Soares, Yoshida, Hoedt, Targett - Hojbjerg, Lemina - Gabbiadini, Armstrong, Redmond - Austin
My prediction: Fulham to win 1-0, the new manager should give the Cottagers a boost, while the Saints will most likely sack Mark Hughes very soon.
Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:
Fulham win - 2.62
Draw - 3.40
Southampton win - 2.87
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Obviously that game has a been a vital one for both sides who are among the mighty struggles in the PL this season.
Ranieri's appointment have done the job in the first Fulham game under his management and it's tough for us to imagine they'd ever be so poor till the end of season as they were in the beginning of it.
Mark Hughes looks to be the next top candidate to be sacked in the PL and it won't be a surprise at all after so poor run of results and performances by the Saints..thus he'd be sacked twice in consecutive seasons and it's tough for me to imagine he 'd be ever able to find himself a job as manager in the PL again.
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