Saturday 30 November 2013

West Ham versus Fulham teamsheets, preview and prediction: Hammers to edge it in energetic affair?

Errr, what's Bobby doing in white?
So as we approach kick off the team news reveals that Big Sam has finally seen (some) sense and has discarded the ridiculous 4-6-0 formation with Modi Maiga starting up front. Poor Ravel Morrision makes way, which is a major surprise given that he has been one of the few positives about the Hammers so far this season. Moreover, Maiga’s recent form when given the chance has been disturbing lacking in product and in last week’s thumping against Chelsea he missed a sitter from 5 yards just when the Hammers could have mounted a comeback. The lad looks bereft of confidence and we are reduced to crossing fingers in hope rather than expectation!

Given Carlton Cole’s sensational scoring record against Fulham (his favourite ‘victims’ with 6 goals in previous matches) perhaps he rather than Maiga should have been given the start. There’s also more frustration for Joe Cole who is on the bench but Sam has brought back Momo Diame in what is almost certainly an effort to counter the muscular Sidwell-Parker partnership in Fulham’s midfield.

Georgie McCartney is back after a long absence and filling in for Rat / O'Brien as the defensive injuries start to mount at Camp Bubbles.

We can expect lots of huffing and puffing out there, but with the only established Premiership standard forward on the pitch (yes! Darren Bent!), Fulham will hope to nick it. However, their defence is porous and, in addition to their traditionally poor away record, they are on the back of five straight defeats.


West Ham: Jaaskelainen; Demel, Tomkins, Collins, McCartney; Jarvis, Diame, Noble, Downing; Nolan; Maiga. Substitutes: Adrian, Collison, Taylor, Morrison, O’Brien, C. Cole, J. Cole.

Fulham: Stekelenburg; Zverotic, Hughes, Amorebieta, Richardson; Duff, Sidwell, Parker, Kasami; Taarabt; Bent. Substitutes: Stockdale, Senderos, Ruiz, Kacaniklic, Karagounis, Boateng and Dembele.

Verdict: Scott Parker to be welcomed gracefully by the Hammers fans, but the ageing star cannot prevent a score of 2-1 to the Hammers with Morrison coming off the bench to seal it as greedy Fulham push for all three points. Also, Jussi Jaaskelainen to avoid giving away any silly penalties!

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