Southampton draw Fulham in FA Cup

Mauricio Pellegrino has learnt his first opposition in the historic cup competition as manager of Southampton.

Southampton draw Fulham in FA Cup
(Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Southampton of the Premier League have been drawn against Championship outfit Fulham for the Third Round of the FA Cup, with the Saints travelling to the capital to visit the renown Craven Cottage in January. 

Mauricio Pellegrino is yet to taste victory over second-tier opposition having fallen out of the Carabao Cup earlier this season to Wolverhampton Wanderers, but the boss will be eager to progress further in the competition than the club's fourth round exit last term due to being on the wrong end of a 5-0 score line to Arsenal

This'll be the first meeting between the Saints and Fulham in nearly four years since the visitors last made the trip to west London; a team which consisted of the likes of Luke Shaw and Victor Wanyama was able to satisfactory overcome the Cottagers with a 3-0 result in the Premier League back in February 2014 - Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Jay Rodriquez with the goals that day. 

​Can Southampton breeze past Fulham?

​Southampton have bewilderingly enjoyed little success in the FA Cup over the last decade with the furthest stage the club has reached being the fifth round since their quarter final feat on the 2004/05 campaign, where they were eventually beaten by Manchester United

Fulham will certainly be no walk over for the Saints with the compactness of Craven Cottage being an intimidating factory for any visiting side. 

The hosts are surely going to field a strong line-up and as Mauricio Pellegrino's players are currently lingering in the top-flight, the manager may take the risk of playing a weakened side in order for the Premier League to be the primary focus. 

However, Southampton do boast the upper hand in the head-to-head record between these two historic clubs. The Saints have tallied 26 victories and the Cottagers only have 21 - this will be the fourth encounter in the FA Cup. 

The last time these two outfits met in this competition was 1999 when the initial fixture was honours even at St. Mary's so required a replay, which Fulham won by the single goal thanks to Barry Hayles

The dates are yet to be confirmed but Southampton's trip to the capital will be on the weekend of the 6th January, days after the team host Crystal Palace on the south coast.