Fulham FC vs West Ham United Preview: Hammers looking to secure upper half finish before Boxing Day
Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images

Fulham FC vs West Ham United Preview: Hammers looking to secure upper half finish before Boxing Day

West Ham travel to Craven Cottage to face bottom-of-the-league Fulham.

Alan Rzepa

West Ham head into the game on the back of three straight wins, and will be looking to extend their run of form against the struggling Fulham, who haven't kept a clean sheet this season.

A win could possibly see the Hammers go as high as eighth in the league table, which would be a great place for them coming into the Christmas period of the season.

But The Cottagers will also be wanting to take all three points, which would massively help them in their relegation battle.

Last time the two teams met was during the 2013-14 season, with the result being 2-1 in the favour of Fulham at the Craven Cottage, who won three of the last four games when hosting West Ham.

Key battles

Aleksandar Mitrovic has been in great form this season, scoring seven league goals, including a brace in a win against Southampton.

His physical presence is possibly his biggest strength, which is going to be a big problem for West Ham's defence. 

Issa Diop and Fabian Balbuena have a background of stopping powerful strikers this season, most noticeably Romelu Lukaku in their 3-1 win against Manchester United in September.

Felipe Anderson is the other on form player coming into this matchup. The Brazilian winger has five goals in his last six games, which has him on the same tally as the likes of Sadio Mane and Lukaku.

He will be against Denis Odoi, who is arguably the weakest link in already struggling defence of Fulham which conceded 40 goals in 16 games, averaging 2.5 goals a game, one of the worst ratios in Premier League history.

Team news

West Ham's injury list has just slightly come down with Aaron Cresswell and Andy Carroll available for selection again, but unfortunately Lucas Perez is out with a foot injury.

On the other hand, Fulham have only two players unavailable for selection. Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa is suspended, while Maxime Le Marchand is out with a muscular injury.

Predicted lineups:

West Ham United: Fabiański; Zabaleta, Balbuena, Diop, Cresswell; Anderson, Rice, Noble, Snodgrass; Silva, Hernandez.

Fulham FC: Rico; Odoi, Mawson, Ream, Bryan; Schurrle, Seri, Cairney, Sessegnon; Mitrovic, Vietto.