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January 1, 2014 10:00 AM EST
Craven Cottage — London
Referee:‬ M. Clattenburg‎
Attendance:‬ 25335‎

Premier League Preview: Fulham - West Ham

The hosts have lost nine of their last 11 top-flight games - including a 6-0 hammering last time out - while the Hammers' only win in their last 12 came against the Cottagers.

By Nicholas McGee

Fulham players react during their game with Hull City
Fulham and West Ham meet in a crucial London derby on New Year's Day with both teams desperate to climb out of the relegation zone.

Although West Ham go into the game at Craven Cottage in poor form, its only win in 12 Premier League games coming against Fulham in November, the hosts perhaps have more to prove following a humiliating 6-0 drubbing at the hands of Hull City on Saturday.

That result kept Fulham in the drop zone - a point above West Ham - and head coach Rene Meulensteen will doubtless be demanding a response from a team that has won only two of their last 11 league games.

Meulensteen's men possess the worst defense in the division, having conceded 41 goals thus far, nine more than any other team.

However, experienced fullback John Arne Riise has underlined Fulham’s desire to bounce back from their embarrassment at the KC Stadium, which saw Hull score all six goals in the second half.

"When you pay a lot of money to come and watch your team get beaten like that, it's painful," Riise said. "But I can assure the fans it’s painful for us as well. It hurts because to concede six in one half is tough to take.

"We have to bounce back because we have two important home games coming up against West Ham and Sunderland."

Fulham heads into the game having made an addition to its back room staff, with the appointment of Ray Wilkins as assistant head coach on Monday.

West Ham drew 3-3 in an enthralling encounter with West Brom last time out but will have been disappointed not to have taken all three points after leading twice.

The visitors have a growing list of injury concerns, with defender James Tomkins joining an array of absentees after picking up a groin injury against West Brom.

Striker Andy Carroll (foot) is still unavailable, along with James Collins (calf), Stewart Downing (Achilles) and Winston Reid (ankle).

Ricardo Vaz Te (shoulder) also remains on the sidelines, while midfielder Ravel Morrison (groin) and forward Mladen Petric (calf) are both doubts.

Fulham striker Dimitar Berbatov has missed his side's last three games with a groin problem but could return against West Ham.

Goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg (ankle) and Philippe Senderos (groin) also sat out the Hull fixture, while Brede Hangeland remains absent with a back problem.

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England - Premier League ‎(EPL)‎ 2014-01-01 Fulham 2 - West Ham United 1
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England - Premier League ‎(EPL)‎ 2010-12-26 Fulham 1 - West Ham United 3
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