There was not an awful lot of Christmas cheer for Fulham as they licked their wounds on their way back from Anfield, where Liverpool comfortably dispatched them 4-0 on Saturday.
However, with a Boxing Day bout against Southampton on the horizon, Martin Jol will be hoping his charges can bounce back with a second home win on the spin.
The Cottagers have not played on home soil since December 10th, when they beat Newcastle, and have suffered defeats at QPR and Liverpool since then.
They now sit just five points above the relegation zone and five points above fourth-bottom Southampton, who are also coming into this one on the back of a disappointing loss.
Nigel Adkins was left frustrated at the weekend as his men sank to a 1-0 defeat at home to Sunderland, keeping them on the very edge of the relegation zone.
With one win and six defeats from their seven away trips so far, Adkins will need his players to produce more if they are to get anything from their trip to west London.
The Cottagers have coughed and spluttered a bit in recent weeks, but they showed earlier in the season what they are capable of when they click into gear.
Big home wins over Norwich and West Brom – who have since motored ahead of Fulham in the table – were evidence that they can perform to a very high standard when their best players are on form.
If you think Jol can inspire his men to victory against the Saints then odds of 83/100 will be your reward.
Adkins will no doubt be reliant on Jol’s men being sapped of confidence following their limp display on Merseyside, while hoping his charges can brush off their underwhelming home performance at the weekend.
The form of Rickie Lambert will be key as he remains the only Saints player to have scored more than twice this season.
There will be confidence from the south coast outfit that they can trouble Mark Schwarzer given that Fulham have actually conceded the same amount of goals as Southampton this season, and the joint-second most of anyone in the top flight.
However, with Fulham boasting 28 scored and the likes of Dimitar Berbatov, Hugo Rodallega and Mladen Petric to call on, the Saints backline will have to continue their improvement from earlier in the campaign.
If you think Southampton can continue to pile the Christmas misery on to Fulham then you can find them at generous odds of 29/10.
The fact that both sides put in poor performances at the weekend, as well as the fact that they drew 2-2 in the reverse fixture in October, could lead you to think that this one may end all square, and 27/10 is the bookies’ way of teasing you with such thoughts.
Fulham have drawn as many as they have won this season, but given the fact that just one of their five stalemates has come at home, and Southampton have not drawn a single away game, I personally doubt this will finish level.
This game is intriguingly poised heading into the post-Christmas period, but I can’t disagree with the bookies who believe that it will be Fulham who are celebrating with a mince pie, a glass of sherry and three points and 83/100 is a tempting enough price for me to go for it.
No you’re right, I can’t picture Martin Jol drinking sherry either.
Merry Christmas and happy punting!