There are very few instances this early on in the campaign where you can call a game a relegation six pointer and not have it be a joke. Alas, we find ourselves in that position here as Fulham prepare to begin their Claudio Ranieri era against Mark Hughes’ Southampton. Those are two managerial names that have been around for quite some time now, although with one coming in and one being on the verge of going out, the dynamic of this upcoming encounter is quite intriguing to us.
Fulham could enjoy something of a resurgence if Ranieri can turn around their defensive problems, because they’ve certainly got a squad that is more than capable of doing some damage in the top flight. Unfortunately that’s all quite circumstantial which is the nature of the beast in the Premier League, whereas for Hughes, there’s no getting around the fact that he is one or two bad results away from losing his job.
The Saints are no longer the team that we remember from just a few short years ago, as they prepare for a second consecutive season of battling relegation. They were known for making smart appointments as well as smart investments but they certainly lost their way when they brought Hughes in, and we’re not just saying that because it’s the standard thing to say – it’s just a fact.
The winner of this game will get a springboard type of effect that could end up leading them towards safety with relative ease, but in a division of this nature, it’s quite easy to pick out the teams that are going to be safe and the teams that are going to struggle. It’s not too much of a stretch to think that both the Cottagers and Southampton will be in the latter category.
Who will win this relegation six pointer?