Southampton’s 11-year stay in the Premier League is on the verge of coming to an end following Monday’s eventful 4-3 defeat away against relegation rivals Nottingham Forest.
The Saints were trailing by two goals on three separate occasions and fought back courtesy of strikes from Carlos Alcaraz, Lyanco and James Ward-Prowse, but their valiant efforts were ultimately in vain as they were condemned to their 23rd league defeat of the campaign.
Victories over Chelsea and Leicester City in February and March respectively seem like a distant memory for Ruben Selles, who has since endured a torrid 10-game winless run, including seven defeats, with his side conceding 23 goals in the process.
Southampton remain at the foot of the table but as a result of both Forest and Everton winning on Monday, the Saints now sit eight points adrift of safety with just three games remaining.
Selles and co enter Saturday’s contest with the worst home record in the Premier League having picked up just 10 points from 17 matches at St Mary’s – the club’s worst-ever points return on home soil in a single Football League season.
However, one glimmer of hope for the Saints is that they have remarkably lost only one of their 31 home league meetings with Fulham and are unbeaten in each of their last 21 home encounters with the Cottagers since a 2-1 defeat back in October 1935.
Despite the absence of top scorer Aleksandar I and chief playmaker Andreas Pereira, Marco Silva’s men had no problems breaching Leicester’s leaky backline, with Willian (2), Tom Cairney (2) and Carlos Vinicius all on the scoresheet to help the Cottagers claim their 14th league win of the season – their joint-most victories in a single Premier League campaign.
Fulham remain 10th in the Premier League table and are on course to secure an impressive top-half finish 12 months on from winning the Championship title, as they currently sit six points clear of 11th-placed Chelsea, albeit having played a game more.
Silva’s side will be confident of success on Saturday against a struggling Southampton side who they beat 2-1 at Craven Cottage in December, courtesy of a James Ward-Prowse own goal and a match-winner from Joao Palhinha.
However, Fulham’s aforementioned away record at Southampton is poor to say the least, while they have lost five of their last six top-flight matches on the road, including their last two without reply; Fulham have not lost three successive games without scoring since December 2018