Written by: @GrantMilesFF
Fulham and West Ham have both been struggling at the foot of the table and will be desperate for victory when they clash at Crave Cottage on New Years Day.
The Cottagers know that the next two games will define their season as they face the two teams below in the shape of West Ham and Sunderland both at home. They will be looking to immediately pick themselves up from their 6-0 drubbing by Hull last time out.
West Ham too will be desperate for victory and will go into this match confident they can pick up three points having recently beaten their opponents 3-0 at Upton Park.
This though was their only win in the their last 12 Premier League fixtures and the Hammers have suffered a real lack of firepower up front. Andy Carroll is due to return in the middle of January and this will be more than welcome.
Meulensteen though will hope his side will receive a lift with the return of Dimitar Berbatov. There are two major absentees in the shape of Maarten Stekelenburg (ankle) and Philippe Senderos (groin), and Brede Hangeland still remains out with a back problem.
Sam Allardyce meanwhile has a few more players in the treatment room than just Carroll with his foot injury. James Collins is out with a calf problem, whilst Stewart Downing and Winston Reid are out with achilles and ankle problems respectively. Ricardo Vaz Te also can’t make this one as he is suffering from a shoulder problem and Ravel Morrison won’t feature here either (groin).
Fulham will be looking to bounce back from their embarassment at the KC stadium, but West Ham will be hoping that three goals against West Brom can help them find their shooting boots here once more. The Cottagers have added Ray Wilkins and Alan Curbishley to their backroom staff this week and will be hoping they can have an impact on Fulham’s survival push.
Fulham v West Ham Pre-Match Stats
Fulham didn’t manage a single shot on target against West Ham United in the reverse fixture in November.
Carlton Cole has scored seven goals in his last nine Premier League games against Fulham.
Fulham have conceded the first goal of the game more often than any other Premier League side (14).
Fulham have leaked 15 goals in their last four Premier League games.
West Ham have conceded nine goals in their last three Premier League games (exactly three in each match).
Fulham have conceded 11 goals in London derbies this season - more than any other side.
Fulham (16 points) are two points better off than they were at this point in 2007-08 (14 points), when they eventually recovered to finish 17th.
West Ham have one point fewer (15) than they did at this point in 2010-11 (16) when they were last relegated from the Premier League.
Fulham are looking for their 25th victory in Premier League London derbies (W24 D31 L58).
Since the start of last season, Fulham have won just 18% of games that Dimitar Berbatov has not started (2 of 11), compared to 30% when he has (14 of 46).