Claudio Ranieri begins his tenure with Fulham when the Cottagers host fellow Premier League strugglers Southampton on Saturday afternoon.
With just two wins between them so far this season, both sides are currently residing at the foot of the Premier League table.
Last time out, Fulham were comfortably brushed aside by Liverpool, leading to Slavisa Jokanovic’s dismissal, while Southampton drew against Watford in controversial circumstances.
Check out 90min’s preview of Saturday’s bottom of the table clash below.
How to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Saturday 24 November|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||15:00 (BST)|
|Where Is it Being Played?||Craven Cottage|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||Gillette Soccer Saturday/BT Sport Score|
Fulham’s summer signing Joe Bryan has been out injured for the past seven weeks, but he made a return to action by playing 45 minutes in a closed-doors friendly last week. However, Saturday’s match may come too soon for the former Bristol City man which will mean Maxime Le Marchand is likely to start at left-back.
|Fulham||Rico; Fosu-Mensah, Chambers, Mawson, Le Marchand; Seri, Cairney, Anguissa; Schurrle, Sessegnon, Mitrovic.|
|Southampton||McCarthy; Soares, Hoedt, Yoshida, Targett; Hojbjerg, Lemina, Gabbiadini, Armstrong, Redmond; Austin.|
Head to Head Record
Southampton currently have the edge when it comes to head to head results, winning 27 of the 72 clashes between the two sides in all competitions. Fulham have 21 wins to their name, whilst the remaining 24 matches have ended in stalemate.
The Saints have not lost any of the previous six matches between the two sides, in an unbeaten run that stretches back 14 years to September 2004.
Saturday will be the first top flight meeting between the two sides since 2014, but they did face off against one another last season – where Southampton prevailed 1-0 in a third round FA Cup tie.
Whilst the manner of Slavisa Jokanovic’s dismissal and Claudio Ranieri’s subsequent appointment could be considered somewhat harsh, the decision was fully justified if you take a look at Fulham’s recent run of results.
The Cottagers sit rock bottom of the table, have lost their previous six league matches and have conceded a league high of 31 goals. They did show some signs of improvement during their 2-0 defeat to Liverpool, but there is still an awful lot of to work to do for Ranieri.
Things haven’t been going all that well for Southampton either. Mark Hughes’ side have failed to pick up a win since the start of September and are only avoiding being in the relegation zone on account of their superior goal difference over Cardiff.
Here’s how each team has performed in their last five fixtures:
|Liverpool 2-0 Fulham (11/11)||Southampton 1-1 Watford (10/11)|
|Huddersfield 1-0 Fulham (05/11)||Manchester City 6-1 Southampton (04/11)|
|Manchester City 2-0 Fulham (01/11)||Southampton 0-0 Newcastle (27/10)|
|Fulham 0-3 Bournemouth (27/10)||Bournemouth 0-0 Southampton (20/10)|
|Cardiff 4-2 Fulham (20/10)||Southampton 0-3 Chelsea (07/10)|
It is never easy to judge how a team is going to perform when they are in the presence of a new manager and, given how erratic Fulham have been this season, it is anyone’s guess as to what will unfold on Saturday.
Southampton’s performance against Watford would have given their fans some encouragement, but if they fail to get a result on the weekend then pressure will continue to mount on Mark Hughes.
It promises to be an intriguing affair, but don’t be surprised if this one ends with the points being shared.
Predicted Score: Fulham 1-1 Southampton