Fulham match preview

Barclays Premier League
12 January
Referee: Mike Riley

WHUTV - Full live commentary plus Alan Curbishley's pre-match press conference

Team news

Luis Boa Morte is in line for a return against his old club having come through an extended run-out with the reserves. He played for more than an hour at Aston Villa with no negative impact on his hamstring. Julien Faubert also got 45 minutes - his first game in six months after an achilles injury - but is thought to be still a week or two away. Matthew Etherington will hope to figure again after his start last week in the 0-0 FA Cup third round draw against Manchester City.

Fit-again James Collins and Calum Davenport both played the full 90 minutes against Villa while Lee Bowyer has had a full week's training and is also in contention for Fulham. Also in training this week have been Danny Gabbidon and Freddie Ljungberg, with Craig Bellamy due to join in fully from Friday. Bobby Zamora will step up his running on Monday and is not far away either.

Only Scott Parker (knee), who is out for at least six weeks, Nigel Quashie (foot) and Kieron Dyer (broken leg) are classed as long-term. John Pantsil and Henri Camara, along with Fulham's Diomansy Kamara, have gone off to represent Ghana and Senegal respectively at the African Cup of Nations. For Fulham, it is thought the match is too soon for the fit again Jimmy Bullard after 18 months out with a knee injury while Brian McBride is also out with a knee problem.


Tenth-placed West Ham United are looking to make it four games unbeaten at the Boleyn Ground on Saturday when they welcome Fulham, who sit one place off the bottom. The run began with the 1-1 draw against Reading on Boxing Day before a 2-1 success over Manchester United three days later was followed by last Saturday's stalemate against City. This will be the first meeting of the teams this season with the return on Saturday 23 February at Craven Cottage.

The sides last met almost a year to the day last season. On 13 January 2007 at the Boleyn Ground, only a last-gasp equaliser from Philippe Christanval denied the Hammers victory in a 3-3 draw. Bobby Zamora had been sent off in the 76th minute having drawn the home side level in the 28th minute after a 16th-minute Tomasz Radzinski strike. Two goals from Yossi Benayoun (46 and 64) either side of a McBride goal on the hour looked to have settled it until Christanval's late goal.

The lineups were:

West Ham United: Carroll, Dailly, Collins (Spector 11) , Gabbidon (Newton 81) , McCartney, Benayoun, Reo-Coker, Quashie, Boa Morte, Cole, Tevez (Zamora 13)
Subs not used: Green, Mullins
Fulham: Lastuvka ,Rosenior, Christanval, Bocanegra, Queudrue, Routledge, Volz , Brown, Radzinski, McBride, Helguson (Montella 67)
Subs not used: Warner, Runstrom, Pearce, Omozusi

Curbishley's current side are in fine league form, with five wins and four draws from the last 12 fixtures. The only three reverses came against strong opposition in the form of Chelsea, Everton and Arsenal. Fulham have not won in 27 away matches in the top flight. The Hammers have still not lost in all nine league games this season when they have taken the lead.

George McCartney, who is on four cautions, is bidding to make his 26th appearance this season in all competitions - and is the only West Ham United player who has featured in every game to date, starting in each one. In terms of the Premier League, only Robert Green and Upson have played every minute of the 20 matches. Ashton, with five goals, is the club's leading scorer in all competitions.

Fulham, now under new manager Roy Hodgson, have gone nine league games without a win and have fallen into the bottom three. Their last fixture was a 2-2 home draw against Bristol Rovers in the FA Cup last Saturday. Fulham have a good record at the Boleyn Ground though, in the last five league meetings there they have won two and drawn two.

Clint Dempsey is Fulham's top scorer this season with six goals, all of which have come in the league. Dempsey, Simon Davies and David Healy are the only players to have featured in every league game, and indeed every cup match, played by the club this season. They have not kept a clean sheet in eleven games, and have had five different players shown a red card in league action.

Boa Morte will be hoping to figure against the team where he made 205 league appearances, scoring 44 goals, between July 2001 and last January when he headed east to West Ham United. Alan Curbishley will know all about the Fulham trio of Paul Konchesky, Aleksei Smertin and Danny Murphy as all played under him at Charlton Athletic.

Fulham boast two former Hammers in the shape of defenders Ian Pearce and Konchesky. Pearce played 142 league games, with nine goals, between September 1997 and January 2004 while Konchesky figured in 59 league games, scoring one goal, between July 2005 and July 2007. Jimmy Bullard was at West Ham United between February 1999 and May 2001 without playing a game.

Head to head (last six meetings in all competitions)

13 Janary 2007 - West Ham United 3-3 Fulham (league)
23 December 2006 - Fulham 0-0 West Ham United (league)
23 January 2006 - West Ham United 2-1 Fulham (league)
17 September 2005 - Fulham 1-2 West Ham United (league)
24 February 2004 - West Ham United 0-3 Fulham (FA Cup)
14 February 2004 - Fulham 0-0 West Ham United (FA Cup)

All-time record v Fulham: W32 D18 L27

Weekend fixtures

Saturday 12 January (3pm unless stated)

Arsenal v Birmingham City
Aston Villa v Reading
Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur
Derby v Wigan Athletic
Everton v Manchester City
Manchester United v Newcastle United - 5.15pm
Middlesbrough v Liverpool

Sunday 13 January

Bolton Wanderers v Blackburn Rovers - 4pm
Sunderland v Portsmouth - 1.30pm

General information

Please note this game is now SOLD OUT. For details of getting to the Boleyn Ground, click here. Please note there are limited services on some London Underground lines. Click here for more information.

Weather: The forecast is for a chilly and overcast day in east London, with rain possible. The temperature is set to peak at around 6C.