Fulham v West Ham Betting Preview, Odds & Tips | 15/12/18

Fulham v West Ham Betting Preview, Odds & Tips

James Cormack (@jamesxyyx) previews Fulham v West Ham and provides us with his best bets for Saturday's London derby by analysing team news, potential line-ups, head-to-head, key stats and facts and more.

Fulham v West Ham Betting Preview, Odds & Tips

  • Date: 15/12/18
  • Time: 17:30
  • Venue: Craven Cottage
  • Channel: BT Sport 1

Claudio Ranieri will be looking to boost his stuttering start as Fulham manager when his side take on an in-form West Ham in a London derby on Saturday evening.

The Hammers’ rich vein of form has seen them creep up to 11th in the table, only five points off the top six whilst Fulham’s extremely disappointing start the season sees them come into Saturday’s game level on points with Southampton at the bottom of the table.

Since beating Southampton 3-2 in Ranieri’s first game in charge, Fulham have been comfortably beaten by Chelsea and Manchester United as well as drawing at home to Leicester. On the other hand, Manuel Pellegrini’s side have hit superb form since losing 4-0 at home to Manchester City at the end of last month, winning their last three games and scoring three in each.

Despite adding Alfie Mawson and Maxime Le Marchand in the summer, Fulham’s defence has been nothing short of woeful, conceding 40 goals in 16 league games. A lack of continuity in the backline surely mustn’t help with nine different players playing in defence in just the Premier League. With many defensive options available, Ranieri has to find a combination he likes before it’s too late.

However, not all the blame can be placed on the defence when it comes to Fulham’s current rock-bottom position in the table. With all the talent they’ve got going forward, it’s shocking to see that they’ve only scored 16 goals. Aleksandar Mitrovic has continued his fine goal-scoring form since arriving from Newcastle last season (firstly on-loan), scoring an impressive 7. But in total, only five different players have netted for Fulham this season, the lowest in the league.

Key players in last year’s success such as Tom Cairney and Ryan Sessegnon will be vital if the Cottagers want to stay up this season. Only 1 goal and 4 assists have been provided by the two playmakers, compared to the 31 G+A’s they contributed with last season in the Championship.

The away side come into this game full of confidence. Despite injuries to key players like Arnautovic, Yarmolenko and Lanzini, many of West Ham’s ‘forgotten men’ like Chicarito and Robert Snodgrass have come up with the goods in recent weeks (8 goals and assists between them this season).

West Ham’s summer signings have also been key in their recent success. Record signing Felipe Anderson has scored five in his last six games whilst Fabian Balbuena has been impressive in West Ham’s defence.

The rise of Rice has also been a great story. The 19 year-old made his debut in the 2016-17 season but became a prominent member of the first team last season. He impressed me at Wembley last season against Spurs in the league where he played at the back, but now he’s a regular starter alongside club stalwart Mark Noble in the middle of the park. His leadership qualities at such a young age have proven how he has the potential to succeed Noble as club captain in the future.

With neither side boasting great defensive records and some of the talent going forward for both sides, this game definitely has the makings of an entertaining one. A result here for West Ham continues to push them in the direction and with games against Watford, Southampton, Burnley and Brighton coming up, West Ham could well be fighting for a Europa League spot come the second half of the season.

Team News

The main absence for Fulham will be record signing André-Frank Zambo Anguissa, after the midfielder was contentiously sent off at Old Trafford last Saturday.

For West Ham; Manuel Lanzini, Winston Reid, Andriy Yarmolenko, Carlos Sanchez, Sam Byram and Ryan Fredericks are all nursing long-term injuries, while Marko Arnautovic is out until the New Year with a hamstring injury. Jack Wilshere is also unavailable.

Andy Carroll now seems to be fully fit and may get a start with Lucas Perez a doubt with a foot injury.

Potential Fulham Starting XI: Rico, Christie, Mawson, Odoi, Le Marchand, Seri, Cairney, Schurrle, Kamara, Sessegnon, Mitrovic.

Potential West Ham Starting XI: Fabianski, Zabaleta, Diop, Balbeuna, Masuaku, Snodgrass,Noble, Rice, Anderson, Carroll, Hernandez.

Head To Head

  • All time: Fulham-32, Draw-23, West Ham-46.
  • The two sides last met in January 2014 (Fulham 2-1). 

Key Stats & Facts

  • Fulham are now without a clean sheet in 20 Premier League games, conceding 51 goals since a 1-0 win against Norwich City in April 2014.
  • They have conceded 40 already this season. The team with the worst defensive record in PL history (with 38 game format) had conceded 40 by Christmas- Derby County 07/08. Fulham still have two games before the 25th.
  • Both of Fulham’s wins this season have come at Craven Cottage (4-2 v Burnley, 3-2 v Southampton).
  • West Ham are looking to secure four consecutive Premier League victories for the first time since February 2014 under Sam Allardyce.
  • Fulham have conceded at least 2 goals in 13/16 league games this season.
  • Despite being Fulham’s top scorer last season, Ryan Sessegnon has only scored 1 this campaign.

Betting Odds

  • Fulham 9/5
  • Draw 5/2
  • West Ham 11/8

The Verdict

With Fulham desperate to get a win I could realistically see them pulling out a high-scoring victory.  I think Ranieri will opt for an attacking lineup with Cairney and Seri playing as his two central midfielders with Kamara, Sessegnon and Schurrle in front of them as a dynamic trio.

But the confidence of this West Ham side at the moment has convinced me that the Hammers will get a result at Craven Cottage on Saturday. I think the combination of Andy Carroll and Chicarito has the potential to be a dangerous one with their playing styles going hand-in-hand with one another. The presence of Carroll on the pitch may take some attention away from the Mexcian and I’m backing him to continue his good form against a vulnerable backline.

Recommended Bets

  • Javier Hernandez to score anytime – 7/4 (UNIBET)
  • BTTS and over 2.5 goals- 5/6 (SkyBet)