Jack Stroudley previews Fulham’s game against the Hammers at Craven Cottage.
Since Brighton away, the performances and results on the pitch have been disappointing as a whole. However, this weekend presents itself as a good opportunity for Fulham to get back on track facing a West Ham side who are really struggling at the moment. Despite a lack of Mitrovic and Willian as well as suspended Marco Silva, Luis Boa Morte will feel our squad has enough to take the game to West Ham and come out victorious, but how do we do it?
If you were to pick a side to face to get out of a tough run of form, you’d probably pick this current West Ham side. Despite being predicted to finish in the top half following last season’s Europa League semi-final, David Moyes’s side find themselves outside the relegation zone on goal difference and following their 5-1 defeat to Newcastle United in midweek, the Scottish manager now finds himself at risk of the sack.
It’s pretty hard to pinpoint where things have gone wrong for West Ham; their squad has quality in abundance with the likes of Declan Rice, Lucas Paqueta, Jarrod Bowen and Gianluca Scammaca, but they have really struggled to find consistency over the course of the season.
That being said, Moyes has made some questionable choices with squad selection with former Fulham man Alphonse Areola being kept out of the squad by Lukasz Fabianski, who was extremely disappointing in midweek. Fulham should focus their exploits in the middle of the park this weekend and aim their attention on Tomas Soucek who has been poor throughout the season and despite having Declan Rice as a partner, has struggled to match the Englishman’s performances.
How do we prepare?
Despite our disappointing performance against Bournemouth, I would go into this one unchanged, save for bringing Willian back into the fold. The Brazilian returns from a one-match ban. The second half on the south coast was extremely frustrating and usually, you would call for a few more changes, but unfortunately, we aren’t in a position to rotate too much. Aleksandar Mitrovic is still out of course, and there isn’t anyone else off the bench who I feel deserves a place in the starting line-up.
The final verdict
Despite our form in recent weeks, I am quite confident going into the game this weekend. West Ham have really struggled over the course of the season and following their 5-1 defeat in midweek, heads will more than likely drop and an early Fulham goal could see the floodgates open. I think we win this game 3-1.