Friday, May 24, 2019

Prediction: West Ham vs Fulham

Verdict: West Ham and Both Teams to Score

Best Odds: 5/2

Bookmaker: bet365

Friday evening’s London derby between West Ham and Fulham raises the curtain on the Premier League round 27 with both sides looking to get a positive result following an extended rest.

West Ham

Back-to-back draws against Liverpool and Crystal Palace, respectively, have allowed West Ham to creep their way into the Premier League top 10 but the Irons will need to do much better if they are to make another step towards the upper half of the table.

Manuel Pellegrini’s men have endured a five-match winless run with their last victory coming more than a month ago. West Ham have played below expectations of late and will be desperate to show some improvement against relegation-threatened Fulham. Three points against the Cottagers would put West Ham within a touching distance of the seventh place – currently occupied by Wolves. The forthcoming clash against fellow Londoners will also be a great chance for West Ham to recover from a discouraging FA Cup loss to League One strugglers Wimbledon which was sure to have dented the team’s confidence. Fortunately for West Ham, they have been given an important injury boost ahead of the game which is sure to improve their chances of getting the desired result.

Team News

Manuel Lanzini, Fabian Valbuena, Jack Wilshere and Samir Nasri could all return to action on Friday.

Paulo Zabaleta and Marko Arnautovic are expected to regain their place in the starting lineup ahead of Ryan Fredericks and Javier Hernandez.

Fulham

It’s nothing but loom and gloom for Fulham who are huge eight points away from safety. A defeat on Friday, following a two-week break, could make things much worse for Claudio Ranieri’s men who face a proper challenge to avoid the drop this season.

The Cottagers lost five of their last six Premier League matches, conceding no less than 15 goals in the process. Having already allowed 58 goals in 26 games, they have the worst defensive record in the league and getting the backline straight to this date remains an unsolved puzzle for the Italian manager. Fulham tried to bring in defensive reinforcements during the January but ended up bolstering their attacking line – which made little to no improvement to their current status. A look back at their transfer activity says Fulham spent over £100 million since summer but their team still looks largely disjointed and completely non-cohesive.

Team News

Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa has successfully recovered from his injury and will be in line for a return.

Harvard Nordtveit and Lazar Markovic are both fully fit and could be given their competitive debuts at Fulham. In the meantime, Bettinelli and Mawson remain unavailable for selection.

Key Factors to Consider

  • West Ham are winless in last 5 matches in all competitions
  • The Hammers, however, are unbeaten in last 4 home matches
  • Fulham are eight points away from safety
  • The Cottagers only won 4 out of 26 Premier League games this season
  • Ranieri’s men are without a single away win in the league

Conclusion

Having both enjoyed an extended break from football, both West Ham and Fulham will be eager to catch the game by the scruff of the neck from the off. We could witness an open game as either side have no reason to pull back and wait. Goals on both ends and a home win, combined, is our choice for this game.

Verdict: West Ham and Both Teams to Score

Best Odds: 5/2

Bookmaker: bet365

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Milos Markovic


Formerly a Chief Editor at the largest sports site in Serbia Sportske.net, Milos Markovic is an avid football writer who contributes to a variety of online football magazines - most prominently Soccernews.com and Futbolgrad.com. His feature articles, editorials, interviews and match analyses have provided informed opinion and views, helping the football aficionados keep up to date on relevant events in world football.

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