By RYAN WILLOX
STATS Football Writer
(AP) -- LONDON (SE) - Stuttering Fulham will attempt to avoid being dragged into the relegation conversation when they host Southampton in their Boxing Day fixture.
To achieve that, the Cottagers will have to maintain an unbeaten home league record against Wednesday's visitors that dates back to Clement Attlee's days as British Prime Minister.
Southampton's record of futility at Fulham in the league stretches back twelve games to their last victory in October 1947. In that run Fulham have recorded seven victories and five draws. Southampton's only other win at the Cottagers in 27 league games dating back to 1923 was a 2-0 triumph in April 1936.
After winning three of their first five Premier League matches, the Cottagers (5-5-8) have only taken two of their last 13 following Saturday's 4-0 loss at Liverpool. Manager Martin Jol hopes they can avoid their first three game losing run of the season by getting a result against traditionally amenable opponents.
"We're on 20 points and we have a bit of a cushion," Jol told the club website after the Liverpool loss. "We've had a lot of injury problems, but once those players are back we will be fine. We played some very good football before and I'm confident we will do that again.
"But there's no doubt that we have to pick up the points and do better than we did today. The next two games are very important. We've got Southampton and then Swansea City; both at home, but we need to show more conviction."
Despite losing at home for the fourth time this season in their last outing, Southampton (4-3-10) remain outside the relegation places thanks to a superior goal difference over Wigan Athletic beneath them in 18th place. They are five points behind Wednesday's opponents.
In the immediate aftermath of Saturday's tepid 1-0 defeat to Sunderland, Saints boss Nigel Adkins admitted his team had not been at the races.
"It just didn't happen for us today," he told the club website. "It was uncharacteristically flat from us, and unfortunately we didn't score any goals.
"I changed it around early doors in the second half because we'd gone behind and we were chasing the game, but unfortunately we've not gone and done it. We've scored a lot of goals this season and today for me, for whatever reason uncharacteristically, it just didn't happen for us."
This is the second league meeting of the season between the sides after they drew 2-2 at St. Mary's in early October. Jose Fonte gave the Saints an early advantage before Jos Hooived's own goal and a late strike from Kieran Richardson looked to have won it for Fulham only for Fonte to nick a point in injury time.
Coincidentally, the sides last Premier League meeting before that game was also a high-scoring draw which finished 3-3 during the 2004-05 season. There have been four Boxing Day meetings between the teams dating back to 1924. Southampton have won two of those and drawn one. A Louis Saha double gave Fulham the 2-0 win in the last such meeting in 2003.
Those hoping for a festive goals bonanza on Wednesday may be in luck as Fulham and Southampton rank seventh and eleventh in goals scored respectively while only Reading have allowed more goals in the Premier League that these sides this season.
Updated December 24, 2012