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Southampton vs Fulham
Wednesday 27th February, 7.45pm GMT
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Assistants: Gary Beswick, Adam Nunn
Fourth official: Roger East
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
There is little doubting the significance of this match for both teams in their bid to retain Premier League status, with each of them starting the game in the bottom three.
For Fulham, who are 19th and on 17 points, there is no opportunity to escape on Wednesday, but, with a seven-point deficit to 18th-place Saints, it is clear how important a win would be for them.
Depending on the results of Tuesday night’s games, Southampton may well have an opportunity to climb out of the relegation zone with a victory, and, after defeats to Cardiff and Arsenal in their past two outings, three points would be a huge boost.
Southampton: The big news this week is that Michael Obafemi looks set to miss the rest of the season after the hamstring injury he picked up against Arsenal. He is not the only forward who is unavailable tomorrow, with Danny Ings unlikely to return before next week. Mario Lemina also remains sidelined for Saints.
Fulham: Manager Claudio Ranieri revealed that he has a fully-fit squad to choose from for the game. Centre-back Alfie Mawson had been out since December with a knee injury, but he is now back in training.
Southampton’s last five:
Arsenal (a) L 0-2
Cardiff (h) L 1-2
Burnley (a) D 1-1
Crystal Palace (h) D 1-1
Everton (h) W 2-1
Fulham’s last five:
West Ham (a) L 1-3
Manchester United (h) L 0-3
Crystal Palace (a) L 0-2
Brighton (h) W 4-2
Tottenham (h) L 1-2
ralph hasenhüttlwe need to show commitment on and off the pitch.
Ralph Hasenhüttl: "It’s an important game but not the final one. There will still be ten left to play after it. It’s an important one for us to take important points. We need to show commitment on and off the pitch, that’s what I’m demanding."
Claudio Ranieri: "Every match for us is like a final, and we have to play with this on our mind. Every ball is important to win or to lose the match. I expect a lot of pressure [from Southampton] – they move the ball very quickly, they play directly. For us it will be important to create big chances to score goals."
For Southampton, Nathan Redmond has been the source of plenty of attacking threat in 2019, and his six goals and two assists under Ralph Hasenhüttl underlines the consistency of his production in the past two months.
It’s been a tough season for Fulham, but that isn’t to say they aren’t able to offer some significant threat in attack. Striker Aleksandar Mitrović has ten Premier League goals this season, while André Schürrle is also one to watch out for, having netted six times in the top-flight this term. January signing Ryan Babel also netted in the team’s last game, at West Ham.
This will be the 66th meeting between the teams all-time, with Southampton having the edge historically.
Previous five meetings:
November 2018: Fulham 3-2 Southampton (Armstrong 2)
January 2018: Fulham 0-1 Southampton (FA Cup) (Ward-Prowse)
February 2014: Fulham 0-3 Southampton (Lallana, Lambert, Rodriguez)
October 2013: Southampton 2-0 Fulham (Lambert, Rodriguez)
December 2012: Fulham 1-1 Southampton (Lambert pen 85)
DID YOU KNOW?
Southampton are unbeaten in their last 19 home league games against Fulham, winning 13 and drawing six, since a 2-1 loss in October 1935.
NOT AT THE GAME?
Don’t worry if you can’t make it to St Mary’s, as we’ll be here to bring you all of the action, as well as a host of behind-the-scenes access.
Check out our interactive match centre at southamptonfc.com, with all of the live in-game updates and free audio commentary of the match.
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