Tony Predicts Draw

Tony Gale, who has played for both West Ham and Fulham, is diplomatically predicting a draw between the two sides on Wednesday evening.

Looking ahead to the game, he says: "Fulham have had a great start, which I think is due to the InterToto Cup, and they changed their formation slightly on Saturday when they went for a flatter four rather than a diamond shape.

"I think it will be a great game of football, especially after both sides got good results at the weekend."

Tony is happy that Ian Pearce looks likely to play again after starting at Sunderland and he adds: "I have wanted him to be in the side for some time now - and I don't think it was a coincidence that we kept a clean sheet.

"I think Sebastien Schemmel has been defending poorly lately and Christian is better suited to a right back position rather than in the middle - and he had a solid game at the weekend."

Tony sees signs of improvement in Fulham, who could go fourth if they win, and he says: "They lost a lot of games last season by the odd goal but this time they have reversed that - but whether they can sustain it for the whole campaign I don't know.

"We finished above them last season but they have got the head start this time around. I think both sides are similar in where they could end up, though.

"This will be a good game but it was the result we needed against Sunderland and it didn't matter how it came about.

"This one is a bonus and I am looking to a better performance from us - but I can see it being a draw."

Looking at the key areas, he says: "I look at Malbranque in midfield and he is key for me. There is also Marlet with a bit of pace up front.

"If West Ham fans remember, Malbranque, who normally plays at the tip of a midfield diamond, is the one who destroyed us last season at Upton Park."