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May 15, 2021 at 3pm UK
Adams (27'), Tella (60'), Walcott (82')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Carvalho (75')
Andersen (26')

Preview: Southampton vs. Fulham - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Southampton vs. Fulham - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Premier League clash between Southampton and Fulham, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Relegated Fulham will be looking to bring an end to their winless run when they take on Southampton at St Mary's on Saturday afternoon.

The Cottagers' fate was confirmed with defeat at home to Burnley on Monday, while Southampton beat Crystal Palace last time out to climb up to 14th place.

Match preview

Despite a supposed upturn in performances over the past few months, Fulham have now taken just one point from their last seven Premier League games.

That solitary point did come away at Arsenal, and Scott Parker's men also won away to Liverpool two months ago, but there can be no complaints regarding their relegation.

The Cottagers quite simply have not been good enough over the course of the campaign, and the 2-0 loss against Burnley at Craven Cottage this week was the final nail in the coffin.

Fulham knew that only a win would do, but goals from Ashley Westwood and Chris Wood in the final 10 minutes of the first half sealed a 2-0 victory for Sean Dyche's men.

In doing so, it means that the bottom three places have been wrapped up in the Premier League with at least three games still to play for the first time ever.

Fulham are now effectively playing for pride when they travel to Southampton and Manchester United, before concluding their season at home to Newcastle United.

A good omen for the South London side, though, is that they have avoided defeat in their next game on the two previous occasions that their Premier League relegation was confirmed.

Like their opponents, Southampton also have little to play for in the final week of the season as they are essentially jostling for position in the lowest reaches of the division.

The Saints led the way at the top of the Premier League just six months ago, but their form has plummeted since then and relegation was a concern at one stage.

Following a run of five defeats and a draw in the space of six games, however, Ralph Hasenhuttl's charges beat Palace fairly resoundingly on Tuesday to get back on track.

Danny Ings scored twice on his return from injury and Che Adams was also on target after Christian Benteke had given Palace an early lead on the South Coast.

Not since before Christmas have Southampton won back-to-back league games, but they will consider this a real chance to do exactly that and potentially climb a place into 14th.

The sides played out a goalless draw at Craven Cottage on Boxing Day, making it just one defeat in eight Premier League meetings for Southampton in this fixture.

Southampton Premier League form:
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • W

Southampton form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • W

Fulham Premier League form:
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L

Team News

Ings was expected to miss the remainder of the campaign, but his two-goal return to the side in midweek means that he is back in contention for an England Euro 2020 squad place.

Whether the 28-year-old is ready for two games in the space of four days is another matter, however, so Nathan Redmond may partner Adams up top this weekend.

If that is the case, it opens up a space for Moussa Djenepo to come into the side out wide, while Michael Obafemi and Theo Walcott are also pushing for recalls in attack.

William Smallbone and Ryan Bertrand have been ruled out, the latter of whom may have played his final game for the club, and Jan Bednarek is a doubt after coming off versus Palace.

As for the visiting side, Mario Lemina - one of a number of loanees in the Fulham squad - is ineligible to face his parent club.

Harrison Reed remains doubtful, and it is unlikely that Tom Cairney or Terence Kongolo will play any part at St Mary's.

Parker may look to rotate his side now that relegation has been confirmed, which could mean some fringe players getting a run out with an eye towards next season.

Bobby Decordova-Reid is Fulham's highest scorer in the Premier League this season with five goals, but he has not scored in any of his last 12 appearances.

Southampton possible starting lineup:
McCarthy; Walker-Peters, Salisu, Vestergaard, Stephens; Walcott, Armstrong, Ward-Prowse, Djenepo; Redmond, Adams

Fulham possible starting lineup:
Areola; Aina, Andersen, Adarabioyo, Robinson; Loftus-Cheek, Anguissa; Cavaleiro, Onomah, Lookman; Maja

We say: Southampton 1-0 Fulham

A season that promised so much for Southampton has badly faded, but they have a chance to end the campaign on a relative high as they seek rare back-to-back wins here.

Fulham's survival hopes came to an end this week and, given their form on their travels in 2020-21 - only two sides have won fewer away games - we cannot see past a Saints victory.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

Video prediction

Watch the Sports Mole Football Shorts prediction for this game below:

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