It’s a little early in the season for a good old fashioned “six-pointer” but that’s exactly what we have on our hands at Upton Park on Saturday.
West Ham host Fulham in a tense London derby in the East End as both teams are bang out of form and desperate to get back to winning ways.
The Hammers haven’t won at home since the opening day of the season when they beat Cardiff 2-0, while Fulham have only beaten the bottom two, Sunderland and Crystal Palace, away from Craven Cottage. Something has to give.
Fulham are in 18th place on 10 points, while West Ham are on the same tally but sit one spot above them by virtue of goal difference.
It’s sure to be a cagey affair as Sam Allardyce — who persists to not use any strikers in an unorthodox 4-6 formation with Andy Carroll out injured — comes up against under-fire Fulham boss Martin Jol. The latter has already suggested he may lose his job if the Cottagers lose to West Ham. There’s plenty on the line apart from London pride in this clash as Jol aims to stop Fulham losing their sixth-straight game in all competitions.
Fulham are without Dimitar Berbatov today so Darren Bent leads the line, while West Ham make four changes to the side beaten 3-0 by Chelsea last time out.
The Hammers bring in George McCartney, Mohamed Diame, Modibo Maiga and Matt Jarvis for Joe Cole, Ravel Morrison, Jack Collison and Joey O’Brien.
West Ham: Jaaskelainen, McCartney, Nolan, Tomkins, Jarvis, Maiga, Noble, Collins, Demel, Diame, Downing
Fulham: Stekelenburg; Zverotic, Hughes, Amorebieta, Richardson; Duff, Sidwell, Parker, Kasami; Taarabt; Bent