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Fulham face West Ham -- PL. Match Preview

last updated Friday 29th November 2013, 7:04 PM

Fulham manager Martin Jol
Fulham manager
Martin Jol
Martin Jol
"Oh, East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet."

It might sound like the private motto of a rail company, but it's actually the first line of Rudyard Kipling's 19th century poem, The Ballad of East and West.

Sadly, this footballing meeting of East and West London is more likely to move spectators to tears than poetry.

West Ham and Fulham are error-strewn impotence personified at the moment, each in a dreadful tailspin towards the murky nether reaches of the Premier League.

Whether Martin Jol can survive another defeat is debatable - it would be a sixth consecutive loss in league and cup. Is Rene Meulensteen in place to provide encouragement and support to his countryman, or is he there to replace him?

New Fulham owner Shahid Khan has been known for his patience with the coaches of his NFL franchise, the often hapless Jacksonville Jaguars - and his patience there has recently been rewarded with two wins in three games after eight consecutive losses. But patience is an easier virtue when your team plays in a league with no relegation.

This is the Cottagers' 13th consecutive season in the Premier League and they haven't finished below 12th since 2008 - if they can get anywhere near mid-table from here they'll have done very well indeed.

So far, the scrutiny on West Ham boss Sam Allardyce has been less intense, but their results are hardly any better. Since the shock win at Tottenham, West Ham have taken two points from five games, scoring only twice.

That might be an inevitable consequence of playing without a recognised striker, a tactic which took Spurs by surprise but has not worked since.

Injuries and a lack of match fitness have forced Allardyce's hand. He has had to do without Andy Carroll, Mladen Petric, Ricardo Vaz Te and Carlton Cole, leaving him with the option of either the no-striker route or using Modibo Maiga, which is a frightening prospect - just not for the opposition.


  • West Ham are unbeaten in their last eight home league games against Fulham (W4, D4).

  • In the last four Premier League seasons, this fixture has produced a total of 29 goals.

  • West Ham

  • The Hammers have taken one point from their last five league matches at Upton Park.

  • Their tally of four points at home is the joint lowest in the top flight along with Fulham and Crystal Palace.

  • Their only shot on target against Chelsea on Saturday came in the third minute of injury time.

  • The Hammers have been on target with just 32.4% of their shots this season, the lowest percentage in the top flight.

  • Kevin Nolan is set to make his 350th Premier League appearance.

  • Fulham

  • Fulham have lost 14 of their last 20 league matches, including their last four in a row (W4, D2).

  • The Whites have attempted the fewest shots in total in the Premier League so far this season (96, including blocked efforts).

  • They have conceded 12 first-half goals this season - the joint worst record in the top flight, along with Norwich.

  • Dimitar Berbatov has scored once in 11 Premier League appearances this season.

Source Steve Wilson at BBCSports
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