Fulham - West Ham Preview: London rivals meet with both in poor form
The Hammers have taken just two points from their past eight games, while Martin Jol's side have only one win since their 2-1 victory over Newcastle on December 15
By Oliver Wheeler
Riether, Hughes, Hangeland, Briggs
Dejagah, Sidwell, Karagounis, Kacaniklic
Demel, Reid, Tomkins, O'Brien
Joe Cole, Noble, Diame, Vaz Te
Martin Jol has a few injury concerns ahead of this London derby with some of his squad players unable to make the game.
Welshman Simon Davies (neck), Mahamadou Diarra (knee), Kerim Frei (groin) and Kieran Richardson (calf) are all doubts for the visit of West Ham. Although it is possible that Diarra could return, it may be just too soon for the midfielder to make his comeback.
The Cottagers have signed Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong on loan, but he may take a place on the bench rather than head straight into the team.
Meanwhile, West Ham have numerous injury worries of their own. Winston Reid (groin) is a doubt but could play, while George McCartney (knee) and Danny Potts (concussion) are still stranded on the side-lines.
Andy Carroll (knee) could return, but may have to settle for a place on the bench as he looks to recover fully from a long-term absence. James Collins (hamstring) is another looking to make a comeback, but Sam Allardyce will be wary of rushing back a defender with them so short-stocked at the back.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Fulham have taken eight points from their past eight games.
- Neither side has a player in the top 20 Premier League goal-scorers this season.
- The Cottagers have only three Englishmen (Steve Sidwell, Kieran Richardson, Matthew Briggs) in their matchday squad, one of the fewest in the top flight.
- Jol's team have failed to score in six of their 23 games, while Allardyce's side have gone without a goal in seven of their matches.
- West Ham have scored just one more goal at Upton Park than they have conceded away from the Boleyn Ground this season.
- Andy Carroll (pictured) made his debut for the Hammers against Fulham at Upton Park earlier in the season, and had an immediate impact, heading down for Vaz Te to set up Kevin Nolan for the first goal in a 3-0 rout.
- Both Martin Jol and Sam Allardyce represented West Brom during their playing days.
- The Hammers have the second-worst form in the Premier League, taking only two points from their past eight games.
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Top 3 Predictions
Fulham 2-1 West Ham
- 17.73 %
Fulham 1-2 West Ham
- 15.76 %
Fulham 1-1 West Ham
- 12.32 %
|Premier League (EPL)||30 Jan 2013||Fulham 3 - West Ham 1|
|Premier League (EPL)||1 Sep 2012||West Ham 3 - Fulham 0|
|Premier League (EPL)||26 Dec 2010||Fulham 1 - West Ham 3|
|Premier League (EPL)||2 Oct 2010||West Ham 1 - Fulham 1|
|Premier League (EPL)||2 May 2010||Fulham 3 - West Ham 2|
|19 May 2013||Swansea City 0 - Fulham 3||EPL|
|12 May 2013||Fulham 1 - Liverpool 3||EPL|
|4 May 2013||Fulham 2 - Reading 4||EPL|
|27 Apr 2013||Everton 1 - Fulham 0||EPL|
|20 Apr 2013||Fulham 0 - Arsenal FC 1||EPL|
|7||John Arne Riise||Defender|
|12||Ricardo Vaz Te||Striker|
The playmaker has struggled with form and injuries this season after impressing in his debut season. His link up play with Dimitar Berbatov was (understandably) poor against Manchester United with the hosts dominating the play, but he is likely to see a lot more of the ball against West Ham and is likely to be central to any chances created.
The former England international has had a mini-renaissance since moving back to his formative club. Fulham usually focus a good portion of their attacks at Craven Cottage down the left, but with John Arne Riise seemingly out of favour with Martin Jol, Cole might have an easier time and be afforded more opportunities to really get forward and put in some high-quality crosses.