Southampton may head into their Boxing Day meeting with Fulham 11 places above their opponents in the Premier League, but Ralph Hasenhüttl knows that does not tell the story of how tough a challenge it will be to get a win at Craven Cottage.
Scott Parker's team might be in 18th position right now, but they are also in their best moment of the season, having lost only one of their past five matches – a 2-0 defeat at Manchester City – while their recent run of three consecutive draws has included a 1-1 tie at home to champions Liverpool.
"They didn't have such a good start and needed a little bit of time to adapt to the Premier League, but then they showed how tough they are to beat," said Hasenhüttl.
Ralph Hasenhüttleven teams like liverpool struggle to win there. it's a tough place to go.
"They are well organised against the ball, with the ball they have good quality and are calm on it. They produce good opportunities with quality in front and they don't give a lot of chances away, so even teams like Liverpool struggle to win there.
"It is a tough place to go, but, as always, there is a chance to win, and if we make a good job and concentrate on our qualities that we have then we have also shown that we can beat such teams."
Saints have some injury concerns ahead of the game, notably Danny Ings, Jannik Vestergaard and Nathan Redmond, while Oriol Romeu is suspended, but Hasenhüttl is pleased to at least have had a full seven days to prepare for Fulham, after an intense week in which his team played Sheffield United, Arsenal and Manchester City.
"We have a difficult week so far, with a few problems with injuries, but it's a good week to work on some new things, and having a normal week for training is never bad for us," he said.
"Especially the last game was by far the highest test in terms of running, sprinting and working hard for the team, and this being the third game of the week I think it was tough for the players and maybe the reason now we have some issues with injuries.
"We're still disappointed we didn't get anything for the hard work the guys did, but we have shown what we have improved so far in this season and over the last couple of months, but it's now a completely different game against what is also a very, very strong side.
"We played them before the season in a friendly and it was a 2-1 defeat and it was tough to play there, so we are warned and we go there with hopefully a better plan and a better way of playing football."