Match Preview: Fulham vs West Ham United

David Moyes will be looking to make it seven wins in eight games when his West Ham United side travel to Craven Cottage this evening.

West Ham are chasing a European spot  this season whilst Fulham sit in the relegation zone, eight points off safety (at the time of writing).

The Cottagers, managed by ex West Ham midfielder Scott Parker were promoted to the Premier League after defeating Brentford in last years Championship play off final.

Their return to the Premier League has not been easy, it has taken them time to adjust to life back in the top flight, picking up just one win in their opening seven games of the season.

For West Ham, they are are having an excellent season after surviving the drop last season under David Moyes.

The Scotsman has revitalised the Hammers this season and has made them into a team who’s current potential is unknown.

Unlocking their full potential is something the Irons have struggled with since the clubs move to the London Stadium.

An unsuccessful period under Manuel Pellegrini left many wondering if the East London club would ever push on and fans were angry at first when David Moyes returned to the helm.

However, the 57 year-old has made the Irons into a side that are getting better week on week and are strong at the back.

Results wise, West Ham look the better side with seven wins in their last eight games with the clubs sole defeat coming against reigning champion’s Liverpool.

A full 90 minute performance midweek against Aston Villa showed the Irons full potential going forward as well as their strength at the back in the form of Angelo Ogbonna and Craig Dawson’s centre back partnership.

Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek have developed one of the strongest midfield duo’s in the Premier League with the latter being the club’s top scorer with seven goals alongside Sebestian Haller who has since moved to Ajax.

It is safe to say that Soucek’s move to East London last January has been a successful one alongside the other signings that Moyes has made during his short tenure.

For Fulham they head into Saturday’s game on the back of a 2-1 loss to third place Leicester City.

The Cottagers biggest issue isn’t their defence it is their attack, just 18 goals this season has prevented them from making progress and climbing up the table, conceding 31 goals is an issue but Crystal Palace, West Brom, Sheffield United and Wolves have conceded more.

Attacking options were Scott Parkers priority during the January transfer and they brought in a striker in the form of former Sunderland man Josh Maja on loan from Ligue 1 side Bordeaux.

TEAM NEWS:

David Moyes has confirmed that left back Arthur Masuaku has returned to training and is getting close to full fitness with a potential return just a month away.

“We’ve only got Arthur Masuaku who has started jogging for the first time on Thursday following his knee surgery, so it gives us a thought that Arthur is only possibly a month away from coming back,” Moyes told WHUFC.com

It is likely that the Hammers will go with four at the back formation with Jarrod Bowen likely to come back into the squad to replace Ryan Fredericks. Jesse Lingard could be due to start again after bagging a brace against Aston Villa midweek.

For Fulham their only absence is that of Captain Tom Cairney with new signing Josh Maja being available for the fixture.

David Moyes praises Fulham’s competitive nature.

West Ham manager David Moyes praised the work Scott Parker has done and knows that the Cottagers offer a very real threat especially after the scare they gave the Irons back in November at the London Stadium.

“Fulham have been competitive this season but not got the results they would have wanted so far,” Moyes told WHUFC.com

“As I’ve said, some moments in football as a manager you need bits of good fortune.

“They missed a penalty in the last minute at London Stadium in the reverse fixture which would have got them a point from the game.

“Sometimes on the journey you’ve got to pick up things and when you get that bit of luck you’ve got to take it. From our point of view, it worked.

“Fulham have improved greatly since that period in the season, so we go there expecting a really tough game.”

‘Desire and Commitment’ is improving says Scott Parker

Scott Parker has praised his sides attitude during what has been a tough season for the Cottagers after their promotion back to the Premier League.

“They are working tirelessly to try and improve as players and individuals and as a team we’re trying to do that as well,” Parker told the Evening Standard

“At times it is fair to say we’ve fallen a little bit short but with that work ethic, desire and commitment I know that over time that will get better.”