FT: Fulham 1 Southampton 1

Honours even at Craven Cottage then - and that was just about a fair result. Fulham were the better side in the first half and deservedly led, but Southampton were stronger in the second period and were worthy of their equaliser. Thanks for following the game with us this afternoon.

Full-time: Fulham 1 Southampton 1

...and Hangeland sends a header inches wide. Huge sigh of relief for Southampton.

Fulham win a free-kick from a dangerous position on the left flank...

Southampton send on Guly do Prado in place of Ramirez.

Neither team are able to keep the ball here and so the play is tuck in midfield.

Great chance for Fulham! The ball is only half cleared to Sidwell on the edge of the box, and the midfielder sends a first-time piledriver of a couple of centimetres wide.

Frantic finale at Craven Cottage as both teams go in desperate search of a winner.

Wonderful strike from Ramirez! But the Uruguayan's 20-yard left-foot rasper is saved by Schwarzer, who gets two hands to it but only palms the ball up into the air and has to grab it before it falls behind the goal-line.

Great chance for Fulham as Riether drives a low cross across goal, but neither Ruiz nor Berbatov can get a foot to it. Close call.

Senderos was booked for dissent in the aftermath of the penalty decision.

Schwarzer gets a hand to Lambert's penalty but it was too powerful and all the Australian could do was divert it into the roof of the net. That's a deserved equaliser for the visitors.

Goal! Fulham 1 Southampton 1 (Rickie Lambert pen)

Penalty to Southampton for a handball by Chris Baird.

Change for Southampton as Jay Rodriguez replaces Steven Davis.

Change for Fulham as Giorgos Karagounis replaces Hugo Rodallega.

Fantastic chance for Southampton as Shaw sweeps in a cross from the left byline that Jose Fonte flicks on to Lambert, but his unchallenged volley flies just over the bar.

John Arne Riise picks up a yellow card for repeated fouling.

Southampton have lost a lot of their momentum now, although they have just made their way into the Fulham box and forced Schwarzer to make a brave catch from a Lambert cross that leaves him winded.

Chance for Fulham as they force a corner on the right and after it was only half cleared, Chris Baird drove a low cross towards Berbatov at the near post, but Kelvin Davis got down well to claim the ball and alleviate the danger.

Kerim Frei replaces Dejagah for Fulham.

Chance for Fulham as Rodallega flicks on for Dejagah to collect and drive a low right-footed shot across the face of the goal. Much better from the hosts.

Southampton continue to make all the running here, but they're just lacking a cutting edge. A top side would have created two or three clear-cut chances against Fulham in this second half so far, whereas the only one Southampton have created was offside.

Fulham aren't putting as much pressure on the ball in the second half and so Southampton are enjoying more possession and finding it easier to pick a pass. Fulham haven't really started the second half yet and need to step it up a gear.

Great chance for Southampton as Cork slips Puncheon through on goal, but the winger is called offside - and his low shot is saved by Schwarzer anyway. Nevertheless, the Fulham defence was well beaten there.

Great chance for Fulham now as Dejagah seizes on a mistake from Shaw on the Fulham right and cuts on to his left inside the box, but miscues his shot well wide of the far post.

More good work from Southampton as Lambert this time peels out on to the left to flick a neat cross into the box towards Steven Davis, who pushes his header wide of the near post.

Another opening for Southampton as Ramirez lofts a beautiful ball in behind the Fulham defence towards Lambert, but it just skids away from the forward at the last moment.

Good early chance for Southampton as Puncheon collects the ball just inside the box in the left channel and whistles a low, left-foot shot narrowly wide.

Half-time change for Fulham as Bryan Ruiz replaces Kacaniklic.

The teams are on their way back out for the second half, which is now just a couple of minutes away.

So, Fulham lead at the break and have been the better team, but Southampton showed signs late on that they can get back into this one. What are your thoughts on how the second half will pan out? Can Southampton pull level? Does Nigel Adkins need to make changes? Will Fulham require a second goal? Tweet me @MattSkyCycling or e-mail matthew.westby@bskyb.com

Half-time: Fulham 1 Southampton 0

Kacaniklic collects the ball 25 yards out in a central position for Fulham but fires over with a right-footer.

There will be one minute of added time, which we are now into.

17-year-old Shaw drives forward once again from left-back and only sees his run stopped when three Fulham players converge on him. The teenager is looking very handy indeed.

Southampton are enjoying a decent spell down the left flank, with first Luke Shaw and then Puncheon getting the better of Riether to sweep balls into the box. Frustratingly for the visitors, there was no one on the end of either of them.

Another chance for Southampton as Riise is mugged by Cork on the right and the ball is cut back to Ramirez, whose right-foot shot is deflected away from danger. Southampton have got their tails up now.

Chance for Southampton as the ball is cleared only to the edge of the box to Morgan Schneiderlin, who sends a low right-footer narrowly wide with a first-time effort. Better from the visitors.

The game is starting to get bogged down again now, with neither side able to piece together any meaningful attacks. Fulham still look the more purposeful side, though. Up the other end, Rickie Lambert is looking badly isolated for Southampton.

Dejagah wins the ball for Fulham close to the Southampton byline on the right with a crunching tackle on Luke Shaw, but his subsequent lofted ball into the box was cleared. Great work nonetheless from the Iranian.

Fulham go close to a second as Riise swings a corner into Berbatov at the near post. The Bulgarian got his head to it, but Kelvin Davis was just able to block it.

Berbatov was booked in the aftermath of the goal for revealing a T-shirt with a message on it, and was lucky just now not to be sent off for a very late and reckless challenge on Jason Puncheon. He would definitely got a yellow for it had he not already been booked.

Southampton are competing a lot better in midfield now after being a bit too much of a walkover in the opening ten minutes. They are also starting to get forward in numbers, but they are still looking very vulnerable at the back, particularly on their own right-hand side.

But Southampton hit back as Gaston Ramirez pounces on a loose ball from Berbatov and surges into the home box. The Uruguayan was held up by Senderos, but Steven Davis picked the ball up and laid it back to Jack Cork, whose low drive was well saved by Mark Schwarzer.

Kacaniklic is taking Clyne apart on that Fulham left and the hosts are repeatedly targeting that area now. Kacaniklic has just twisted and turned his way past Clyne before sending in a cross that Davis claimed well. The young Swede then released Riise on the overlap, but his cutback was intercepted.

Great chance for Fulham as, once again, Kacaniklic is released down the left and he plants a cross perfectly on to the head of Berbatov, but the Bulgarian pushes his header wide of Davis's right-hand post from around the penalty spot when he should have hit the target at least. Let-off for Southampton, who are back of the back foot now.

A lovely ball from Brede Hangeland plays Kacaniklic in behind the Southampton backline down the left but his cross is well claimed by Kelvin Davis.

Southampton have actually responded well to falling behind and are currently exerting their first sustained spell of pressure. They're struggling to break Fulham down, though, and the home team finally clear the danger.

That was coming for the home team. Ashkan Dejagah fed the overlapping Sascha Riether on the right flank, and his low cross was missed the whole Southampton defence, allowing Berbatov to hook home a low shot into an empty net from four yards out at the back post.

Goal! Fulham 1 Southampton 0 (Dimitar Berbatov)

Fulham have moved into the ascendancy here and are starting to put Southampton under real pressure. The left-hand side is where they're getting their most joy, with John Arne Riise and Kacaniklic causing plenty of problems for Nathaniel Clyne already.

Great chance for Fulham as the ball is squared to Steve Sidwell on the edge of the box. The former Reading and Chelsea midfielder let rip with his right foot, but his shot whistled wide of the post.

Slightly scrappy start to the match, with neither side being able to get their foot on the ball. Maybe a sign of tension, but the pouring rain won't be helping much either.

Craven Cottage is just observing a minute's applause for those involved with Fulham Football Club who have died over the past year. A nice touch from the club, but the whistle then blows and so it's now down to business.

These two sides shared ten goals in their previous two Premier League meetings, so the omens look good for a few goals. I'm just hoping Alex Kacaniklic isn't involved too often so I don't have to keep spelling his name.

Here come the two teams at Craven Cottage, with Fulham in their traditional white shirts and Southampton in red. The referee today is Phil Dowd.

Right then, people, what do we think for this one then? More woe for Fulham? A valuable scalp for Southampton? Or will Martin Jol's side finally get their act together and pile the pressure on the Saints? Join the debate by tweeting @MattSkyCycling or e-mailing matthew.westby@bskyb.com

Remember, Fulham go into this game desperately short of form, having won only once in their last ten. Southampton fair slightly better, with three wins in their last ten, but they're further down the table and are out of the relegation zone only on goal difference.

Southampton team: Kelvin Davis, Clyne, Fonte, Yoshida, Shaw, Schneiderlin, Cork, Steven Davis, Puncheon, Ramirez, Lambert. Subs: Boruc, Hooiveld, Rodriguez, Ward-Prowse, Do Prado, Richardson, Mayuka.

Fulham team: Schwarzer, Riether, Hangeland, Senderos, Riise, Dejagah, Sidwell, Baird, Kacaniklic, Berbatov, Rodallega. Subs: Stockdale, Kelly, Ruiz, Karagounis, Briggs, Hughes, Frei.

Twenty minutes until kick-off - and what's Southampton boss Nigel Adkins doing right now: Finalising tactics? Motivating his players? Analysing the opposition? Nope, none of those. He's stood in the tunnel having a brew. Proper English management for you right there.

Ciaran Doyle has been in touch on Twitter and is leaning towards this one being a goal-fest. He tweets: "2-3 Southampton. Someone will score a hat-trick."

Full teams will follow, but I can tell you Fulham make three changes to the side that was soundly beaten 4-0 by Liverpool, with Philippe Senderos, Steve Sidwell and Hugo Rodallega all being recalled. Southampton make just one change from the team that lost to Sunderland, Steven Davis replacing Emmanuel Mayuka.

Fulham need a win to stop their slide down the Premier League table and despite winning none of their last seven Boxing Day fixtures, the Whites are 10/11 to record all three points today. Opponents Southampton have won only two of their last 28 away games in the top flight and haven't won at Fulham since 1947, and punters are steering well clear of the south coast club. Fulham to win and both teams to score is available at 5/2.

Welcome along to our live coverage of Fulham v Southampton at Craven Cottage, which you can't help suspect will be a tense bore draw or a hell-for-leather goal-fest given the dangerous predicament both teams find themselves in. We've got all the build-up to come right here, and if you would like to get involved, tweet me @MattSkyCycling or e-mail matthew.westby@bskyb.com

Updates will follow here ...

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