Southampton v Fulham Odds : Saints look the value at St Marys

Southampton will look to keep their impressive start to the season going when they welcome Fulham to St. Mary’s on Saturday.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side currently sit 6th in the Premier League after winning four and drawing three of their eight games so far.

The Saint’s boast the league’s best defensive record with just three goals conceded to date and they will be full of confidence after securing a late point away to the Champions Manchester United last weekend.

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Pochettino has earned a lot of praise for the sterling job he has down since taking over last year however the former Espanyol boss has has been quick to acknowledge the role his players have played in the Saints fine form.

Speaking in the build up to the game, the 41 year old said: “We have a certain philosophy of football where we try to defend high up the pitch, taking a lot of risks.

“To have the ball as far away as possible from our goal is when we feel safest and most positive about our play.

“We are working to manage the risks and reduce them as much as possible. And it is down as much as possible to the players who are executing that philosophy.

“I am very proud of the performance of the players, they are the main actors in this. I am very happy for the club and happy we are keeping this amazing defensive record.

“And I am happy for the chairman because he is the creator who over the years has given shape to this project that we have for the future.

“We work as we live, as we understand football. Not always do we have a double session (training). It depends on the physical fitness of the players and how many games we have ahead in that week or the weeks ahead.

“It is all down to planning and the physical tasks we want the players to accomplish. It is how we engage with how the players are doing, not just physically but also psychologically.”

Fulham meanwhile will be buoyed by Monday’s 4-1 win over Crystal Palace, a win that moved Martin Jol’s strugglers up to 14th in the table and included two early contenders for the goal of the season.

The Cottagers went behind to an early palace goal but bounced back through wondrous efforts from Pajtim Kasami and Steve Sidwell and they head to the South Coast looking for their third league win on the trot.

However they face a difficult challenge on Saturday with Southampton currently unbeaten at home so far this season and unbeaten at home against Fulham since 1998.

Southampton could start with Rickie Lambert up front after he started the game against United on the bench while midfielder Steven Davis facing a last fitness test after taking a knock in training on Wednesday.

Fulham meanwhile are sweating on the fitness of defender Brede Hangeland and striker Bryan Ruiz, who will face late assessments over leg and back problems respectively.

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Trevor Keane is an Irish based sports writer and the author of Gaffers, 50 years of Irish Managers and Running through Walls, the Dave Langan Story.

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