Fulham are Hosting Southampton in the third-round of the FA Cup. The Premier League side seems to have more downs than ups this season, and they look to turn their poor form around in this cup match.
Aidan Small is the Editor for the Daily Mail’s featured page ‘Fresh Saints’(@FreshSaints) and gave us the lowdown on what we can expect from Southampton this Saturday..
How has Southampton’s season been thus far?
It’s been nothing short of an embarrassment. Mauricio Pellegrino was drafted in to bring a ‘high intensity’ style of football, with a focus on attacking play, but we’ve seen quite the opposite. He’s failed to install an identity, he doesn’t know our strongest XI and the results themselves have been horrific. There’s no suggestion that the players are willing to work under Pellegrino and if I’m being completely honest, I can’t see our fortunes changing until he’s relieved of his duties; we’ve picked up four wins from 24 fixtures this season and have scored just 22 goals along the way.
What kind of lineup do you expect to see put out?
Our squad’s been affected massively by injuries in recent weeks, so naturally were being forced into playing a second rate defensive unit. Cedric Soares, Wesley Hoedt and Jeremy Pied have all been ruled out for this fixture, while Charlie Austin is out with a long term hamstring injury.
But were desperate for a win, so I expect players such as Nathan Redmond and Manolo Gabbiadini to get a good run out in the frontline.
What style of play can we expect from Southampton?
Errr, here’s the problem… none of us really know. One week were trying to play possession football, the next were trying to counter, and the next were going route one up to Shane Long. At the same time were also switching formations at a ridiculous rate; 433, 343 and 451 have all been played in the past month. Not a single Southampton fan could answer this question with genuine confidence.
What does Southampton do well?
As a unit we’ve done few things well this season, but our fullbacks continue to always be involved in all phases of play, and we have fantastic midfield options to fall back on; Mario Lemina, Oriol Romeu, Steven Davis and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg just to name a few.
What do they do poorly?
This season? Just about everything. Our defence has been a shambles, we’ve struggled to find consistency in front of goal and on the rare occasion that we do actually go ahead, we often choke and throw it away.
We’re in dire form and in desperate need of a result - we haven’t won in our last nine fixtures - but I’m going to be optimistic and say 2-1.
Having said that, Fulham appear to have picked up form in recent weeks and this clash looks like a banana peel. I wouldn’t be shocked in the slightest if we get knocked out.