Fulham v West Ham United - All You Need To Know
West Ham United contest their fifth and final away Premier League London derby of the 2020/21 season on Saturday when they travel to Fulham.
The Hammers head to Craven Cottage seeking a sixth Premier League win in seven matches following Wednesday's 3-1 win at Aston Villa. The Irons have won six of their last nine matches in all competitions, drawing twice and losing just once, at home to Liverpool last Sunday.
It is 17 points from 24 dating back to Christmas for David Moyes' squad, who are also seeking a second Premier League double of the season after beating Fulham 1-0 at London Stadium on 7 November.
All that means West Ham begin the weekend fifth in the table with 38 points from 22 games, two points behind Liverpool in fourth. That is the Hammers' highest total after 22 games since the 1985/86 First Division season, when John Lyall's men collected 45 on their way to a third-place finish. For reference, Slaven Bilic's side had 35 from 22 in 2015/16.
Fulham, meanwhile, kick-off the weekend 18th on just 14 points from 21 games, played, eight points behind Burnley in 17th and Newcastle United in 16th. Former Hammer Scott Parker's squad are without a win in eleven Premier League matches dating back to 30 November.
With England now back under a national lockdown due to the ongoing pandemic, this means the game will be played without supporters present. However, the match will be shown live in the UK by Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Ultra HD, meaning our fans will be able to follow the action, safely, from home.
West Ham United manager David Moyes could rotate his squad again, having played at Aston Villa on Wednesday evening and with an Emirates FA Cup fifth-round tie at Manchester United on Tuesday to plan for.
Jarrod Bowen and Pablo Fornals are among those hoping for a recall to the starting eleven, while Jesse Lingard will be seeking to build on his two-goal debut at Villa Park in midweek.
Fulham boss Scott Parker has a near fully-fit squad to choose from, but captain and midfielder Tom Cairney is out with a knee injury, while defender Terence Kongolo has a thigh problem.
The opposition – Fulham
Hopes were high that Fulham would avoid a repeat of their most-recent Premier League stay, which lasted just a single season and ended in relegation in 2018/19.
Back then, the west Londoners spent big, but amassed just seven wins and 26 points before making an immediate return to the Championship.
This time around, the Cottagers adopted a different approach to their recruitment, bringing in six lower-priced signings and six more players on loan but, so far, it has borne similar results, with Fulham collecting just two victories and 14 points from their opening 21 top-flight fixtures.
Of the dozen new signings, a number have shown their quality, including winger Ademola Lookman, goalkeeper Alphonse Areola and full-back Antonee Robinson, but Fulham have been unable to turn promising performances into points often enough.
Seven of Fulham's last ten top-flight games have ended in draws, with the other three ending in defeat.
Somehow, Parker's men will need to turn those results into wins if they are to avoid a similar fate to 2018/19.
How will they play?
Fulham were promoted using a possession and territory-based approach, but that has proved far less successful in the Premier League, so far at least.
The Cottagers do complete 81% of their passes and enjoy a respectable 48.6% possession on average, but that has translated into just 17 goals in 21 Premier League matches.
Why? Well, respected football analytics website Statsbomb labelled Fulham’s attacking play ‘pedestrian’ in their season preview, pointing to the fact Fulham had the slowest build-up play in the Championship last term.
Fulham’s defence was solid in the second tier, with just 48 goals conceded in 46 matches, but that has not been the case so far in the Premier League, where individual mistakes have cost the Whites dear and seen them let in 31 goals in 21 games to date.
West Ham United and Fulham meet in the Premier League for the 24th time on Saturday.
The Irons have had the best of things by far down the years, winning 14 of the 23 meetings, including each of the last three. Meanwhile, the Whites have won just four, with five draws. Three of Fulham's four victories have come at Craven Cottage, though.
The most-recent meeting was settled by Tomáš Souček's goal at London Stadium in November last year.
David Moyes has an enviable career record against Fulham, too, having won 17 and lost just eight of the 29 matches he has managed against them with Manchester United, Everton and West Ham. The Scot is on an eleven-match personal unbeaten run against the Whites.
Moyes’ opposite number Scott Parker is well-known in these parts, having played 129 times in Claret and Blue between 2007-11, scoring 12 goals and winning three Hammer of the Year awards. His only previous managerial experience against West Ham was in the reverse fixture in November.
By the numbers
0 West Ham United remain the only Premier League side not to be awarded a penalty so far this season, in any competition. The full list of Premier League penalties awarded in 2020/21 is as follows:
|Brighton & Hove Albion||6||5|
|West Bromwich Albion||2||2|
1898 The first-ever meeting between the two London clubs took place on 3 December 1898 in Southern League Division Two. Goals from George Gresham and Reynolds secured a 2-1 victory for Thames Ironworks at the Memorial Grounds in front of 2,000 supporters. The Ironworks completed a double with a 1-0 victory at Craven Cottage the following April, where Lloyd scored the only goal of the game. The following season 1899/00, a Test match play-off was contested between the two clubs to decide who would play in the First Division in 1900/01, with Bill Joyce scoring a hat-trick to keep the Ironworks in the top flight.
318 West Ham United legend Tony Gale is also highly regarded at Fulham, where he made 318 first-team appearances before travelling down the District line from Putney Bridge to Upton Park in 1984. Born in Westminster, Gale came through the youth ranks at Fulham before debuting at 16 in an Anglo-Scottish Cup tie with Orient. Following West Ham great Bobby Moore’s retirement, he became a first-team regular while still a teenager in 1977/78, playing alongside George Best. He later helped the Whites win promotion to and finish fourth in the Second Division in the early 1980s.
13 No West Ham United player has scored more goals against Fulham than Syd Puddefoot, who netted 13 between 18 December 1915 and Boxing Day 1932, meaning it was just over 17 years between his first and last goals for the Hammers against the Whites! Nine of Puddefoot’s 13 goals came in the London Combination, which replaced the Football League during the First World War, with the final four being scored in the Second Division.
7-2 West Ham United’s record League victory over Fulham was the 7-2 First Division win scored by Ron Greenwood’s side at the Boleyn Ground on 3 February 1968. Trevor Brooking and Geoff Hurst each scored twice, while Brian Dear, Bobby Moore and Martin Peters were also on target. Amazingly, the Hammers had also beaten the Whites by a five-goal margin the previous season, when Hurst scored four and Peters two in a 6-1 win in Upton Park on Bonfire Night 1966.
5 Geoff Hurst scored in five consecutive First Division matches against Fulham between March 1966 and February 1968, netting nine goals in total. Carlton Cole scored in four straight Premier League matches against Fulham in the 2008/09 and 2009/10 seasons, then added two more in a 3-1 win at Craven Cottage on Boxing Day 2010.
2005 Portuguese forward Luis Boa Morte was named Fulham’s Player of the Year in 2005. The Lisbon-born winger joined Fulham on loan from Southampton in 2000 before making the move permanent after helping the Whites win promotion to the Premier League. In total, Boa Morte scored 33 goals in 203 appearances before joining West Ham United in 2006.
Referee: Mike Dean
Assistant Referees: Darren Cann and Simon Long
Fourth Official: Kevin Friend
VAR: Lee Mason
Assistant VAR: Scott Ledger
Saturday's match will be refereed by the experienced Mike Dean.
Dean was born in Wirral, just across the River Mersey from Liverpool, in June 1968, making him 52-years-old.
A Tranmere Rovers supporter, Dean began his refereeing career in the Northern Premier League before graduating to the Football League list of assistant referees in 1995.
After two seasons running the line and three as a Football League referee, Dean was promoted to the Select Group of Premier League officials in 2000.
Since then, Dean has refereed a succession of high-profile fixtures, including the FA Cup and League Cup finals and Championship Play-Off final.
Dean also took charge of international qualifiers and friendly matches up until 2013, when he reached FIFA’s mandatory retirement age of 45.
In April 2019, he became the first Premier League referee to show 100 red cards.
Dean has refereed West Ham United on 58 occasions, most recently officiating the 1-0 Emirates FA Cup third-round tie at Stockport County.