09/02/19 – Crystal Palace 1-1 West Ham
04/02/19 – West Ham 1-1 Liverpool
29/01/19 – Wolves 3-0 West Ham
26/01/19 – Wimbledon 4-2 West Ham (FA Cup)
19/01/19 – Bournemouth 2-0 West Ham
West Ham have notably shifted between a 3 and 4 man central midfield since the arrival of former Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini, and have moved away from the back 3 implemented by David Moyes when trying to save the club from relegation last season. West Ham have suffered from an extensive injury list at times this season but the Chilean has pushed the club into comfortable mid-table territory.
The two wide players Anderson and one of either Yarmolenko, Antonio or Snodgrass have changed the attacking fortunes of a team that so heavily relied on Marko Arnautovic last campaign. These wide players have created danger with their direct running and dribbling ability that creates the space and opportunities for others to flourish within the team while also ably providing goals and assists themselves. The main point of difference from last season appears to have been the strengthening of the spine of the time, with the acquisitions of Issa Diop and Lukas Fabianski and the rise to prominence of Declan Rice. This has allowed the aforementioned creative players to have greater freedom to damage the opposition without having to worry so much about the defensive struggles that left the team vulnerable to counter attacks under Moyes. Expect a well-known face to us Fulham fans in Ryan Fredericks to start given his increase in playing time following injury and we’re all well aware of the damage he can do down the opponent’s left-hand side.
Battle to Watch
Anderson vs Christie/Odoi: Having added a number of wingers over the summer ourselves we can all attest to how significant a position it is on the pitch and West Ham’s big summer signing Felipe Anderson has proved just that in his first season in English football. The Brazilian arrived from Lazio with a well-known skill set but had been unable to find the consistency to his game to impact games on a consistent basis. In East London, it seems that he has found a perfect platform to exhibit his dazzling array of skills. His pace obviously worries defences straight away but combining that with his skill and shooting ability makes him a particular threat. With our struggles at right back – and the right-hand side of the pitch generally – all season the defensive aspect of Cyrus Christie’s game is bound to be severely tested on Friday night. Whether he regains his starting spot after missing out against Man United or Denis Odoi keeps his place we should be particularly worried about this area of the pitch throughout the 90 minutes.
Dangerman may be a slightly different definition than you would associate with arguably West Ham’s star player this season but Declan Rice has proven massively influential to the fortunes of the Hammers. A calmness and positional intelligence not often seen in a midfielder with relatively little top-flight experience – has provided a solid foundation for West Ham to be more effective at both ends of the pitch. While not an active goal threat himself, the greater degree of freedom he provides to other players on the pitch is vitally important and his passing range means he is able to dictate games as we witnessed at a dispiriting pre-Christmas night at the Cottage.
Fulham wins 32
West Ham wins 47
Last 5 Meetings
15/12/18 – Fulham 0-2 West Ham (PL)
01/01/14 – Fulham 2-1 West Ham (PL)
30/11/13 – West Ham 3-0 Fulham (PL)
30/01/13 – Fulham 3-1 West Ham (PL)
01/09/12 – West Ham 3-0 Fulham (PL)
Stats & Facts
- This is Fulham’s first visit to West Ham’s new home ‘The London Stadium’.
- If history is anything to go by, our first two visits to Upton Park in 1904 & 1906 both ended 0-0.
- However, our last two visits to Upton Park in 2012 & 2013 both ended in 3-0 defeats!
- Fulham’s away record in all competitions against the Hammers is 11 Wins, 13 draws and 26 losses.
- The Whites haven’t recorded an away clean sheet in the League against the East Londoners since our first Premier League encounter in 2001. Legwinski and Malbranque with the goals in a 0-2 victory.
- However, we did keep a clean sheet at Upton Park in the 5th Round FA Cup Replay in 2004 winning 0-3 on the night. West Ham were a division below at the time and we’ve failed to replicate this clean sheet in the 8 attempts since.
- Clint Dempsey was the last Fulham player to score at the Boleyn Ground during a 1-1 draw in 2010.
- West Ham’s home league record this season reads 5 wins, 3 draws and 5 defeats. They have only kept 2 clean sheets in those 13 games.
- Friday’s fixture will mean that we have played more London Derbies in the league against West Ham than any other. At present we have played West Ham and Leyton Orient 82 times each in league matches.
- Fulham’s have lost every London derby so far this season in the Premier League.
Players in Common
Luis Boa Morte, Rufus Brevett, Wayne Bridge, Jimmy Bullard, Johnny Byrne, Papa Bouba Diop, Iain Dowie, Ryan Fredericks, Tony Gale, Jon Harley, Ray Houghton, Gabor Kiraly, Paul Konchesky, Jan Lastuvka, Archibald Macaulay, Andy Melville, Bobby Moore, John Pantsil, Scott Parker, Ian Pearce, Mladen Petric, Gerry Peyton, Leroy Rosenior, Bobby Zamora.
Another throwback to our glorious first season in the Premier League and the first game against West Ham since 1980, our visit to Upton Park on 3 November 2001 produced a 2-0 for the Whites with a goal from Sylvan Legwinski just before half time and sealed with a Steed Malbranque strike after the hour mark. The fact that we haven’t won away at West Ham in the league since is a worrying sequence but maybe a new stadium will banish some of the ghosts of the past.
Opposition View (@StoneyMaloney)
What were your expectations going into this season and what would constitute a successful finish given that you’re currently 10th?
My expectations going into this season would have been a top 10 finish considering the number of deadwood players we have at the club but also with the new players that came in too. I would still consider a successful finish being in the top 10 and hopefully, we keep picking up results and keep our momentum going.
Looking at the long term future for the club. Do you see the change from Upton Park to The London Stadium making a huge impact either in a positive or negative manner? Or will it prove to be a pointless change from a fans perspective?
I’ve seen some parts of the change of stadium already being that we have a higher transfer budget and I think if the board stick to the promises regarding stadium problems that it could be a positive move and prove to have a point.
What have you made of Ryan Fredericks so far?
He’s shown glimpses of how good he can be but hasn’t had a lot of time to prove himself due to injury. I think he can definitely become a starting player who I would hope to see at the club for as long as possible if he keeps up his performances.
Despite a decent home record in the league this season, you have only kept two clean sheets at the London Stadium. Is this a cause for concern?
I think it’s a concern but one that can be fixed with the right transfers such as bringing in a better defensive midfield and getting a better left back. As well as this I think we need better cover centrebacks because if one gets injured, Ogbonna can be very hot and cold.
How do you expect the game to pan out?
I expect it to be a game that West Ham easily control but I feel like it also depends on who wants the game more. I feel like Fulham could be up for the game considering our clean sheet record at the London Stadium and also the fact they have a lot more riding on the game.
Score prediction – I’m going to say 2-1
Predicted line-up – (4-3-3) Fabianski; Fredericks, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Noble, Rice, Snodgrass; Antonio, Arnautovic & Anderson.
We haven’t won away all season so to predict a win in a massive game feels like a lot to ask of this squad in the situation it currently finds itself in. If we play the back 3 system against teams outside the top six I can only see a defeat but if we at least try to attack at some point during the 90 and reinstate TC and Sess then maybe there’s a chance. Ranieri, sadly, is unlikely to stick with the back 4 after the United game so I’ll have to say a 2-1 win for the Hammers.