Premier League Betting Odds & Picks: Fulham vs. Southampton (Saturday, Dec. 26)
MICHAEL REGAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images. Pictured: Fulham standouts Ademola Lookman, left, and Ivan Cavaleiro.
- After a slow start to the season, Fulham have started to put things together and the Cottagers look like they have a chance to survive relegation for this season.
- Despite their uptick in form, Fulham are still underdogs in their match against Southampton on Saturday.
- Jeremy Pond previews this Boxing Day showdown and offers two bets:
Fulham vs. Southampton Odds
|Fulham Odds||+195 [BET NOW]|
|Southampton Odds||+145 [BET NOW]|
|Draw||+230 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-103/-121) [BET NOW]|
|Time||10 a.m. ET|
|How To Watch||Peacock Premium|
You would think a Premier League showdown between a club sitting in the relegation zone and sitting pretty inside the top 8 would be a total mismatch.
However, all is not what it seems heading into Saturday’s intriguing contest between Fulham and Southampton at Craven Cottage.
The Cottagers, parked in 18th place, on just 10 points through 14 fixtures have earned three consecutive draws heading into this confrontation. Most recently, Fulham secured a 1-1 tie against Newcastle United.
On the other side, the Saints suffered a gut-wrenching 1-0 defeat to Manchester City a week back at St Mary’s Stadium. The loss didn’t hurt Southampton that much, as it still finds itself in seventh place on the table.
Let’s take a look at these clubs and see what might be in store for this game.
On paper, things look pretty awful for the host side through 14 games. They’ve scored 13 goals and conceded 23 at the same time, resulting in an extremely poor 0.92 goals for/1.64 goals against ratio.
Yet, there is a big reason for Fulham’s faithful to maintain some cautious optimism due to the fact it seems the club has started crafting a path out of harm’s way. The Cottagers have reeled off a trio of draws, highlighted by a 1-1 stalemate against defending champion Liverpool three games back.
When it comes to statistical data, Fulham’s overall numbers are precisely what you’d anticipate seeing from a club that’s near the bottom of the table.
The Cottagers sit on a subpar 15.8 expected goals and brutal 21.6 expected goals against, resulting in a dismal -5.8 xGDiff and -0.41 xGDiff/90 minutes.
As you probably gathered, Fulham’s xGDiff and xGDiff/90 minutes are some of the league’s worst. The Cottagers are in 16th place for xGDiff and 17th for xGDiff/90, which simply isn’t good enough to escape the relegation zone.
Manager Ralph Hasenhüttl has to be pleased with the Saints’ overall performances entering this latest affair against the Cottagers.
Southampton is unbeaten in three of its last four contests, with the lone setback coming via that one-goal thriller against Manchester City. It was an ultra-tight battle with the Cityzens, who held the slimmest of margins in expected goals (1.1 xG-1.0 xG) at the final whistle.
Prior to that tough defeat, the Saints secured wins against Brighton & Hove Albion and Sheffield United before a 1-1 draw with Arsenal. Danny Ings continues to lead the line with a team-best six goals, but he could miss this match after picking up a knock against Manchester City.
Teammates Nathan Redmond and Jannik Vestergaard are questionable as well, plus Oriol Romeu is slated to miss the game due to suspension.
As for Southampton’s advanced metrics, it has actually accumulated some relatively disappointing figures for an outfit positioned so well among its foes.
The Saints have generated a mediocre 15.3 xGs and 17.0 expected goals against, resulting in a -1.7 xGDiff and -0.13 for xGDiff/90 minutes. All four stat lines rank last among the teams currently in the top 10 on the league table.
Betting Analysis & Picks
Bottom line, this should be a real dogfight at Craven Cottage. I thought Fulham’s recent form gave it a chance prior to hearing about Southampton’s lengthy list of players potentially missing this crucial Boxing Day affair.
Now, I like the Cottagers even more.
That said, I am backing Fulham via a Draw No Bet wager at a fair price. I believe the Cottagers can break through with that signature triumph that’s been missing from their résumé thus far, but will play things a tad safer and still be rewarded with a nice payout with a victory.
I will also sprinkle a little on the total staying under the number as well. There have been less than three goals in Fulham’s last four league tilts. Combine that with Southampton’s personnel issues and I like my chances with this wager.
Picks: Fulham (Draw No Bet) +133 | Total Under 2.5 Goals (-120)