After the drama of transfer deadline day, yesterday, it`s back to the helter-skelter world that is the Premier League when Fulham make the short trip across London to face West Ham United, at Upton Park, for a lunch-time kick-off broadcast by Sky Sports.
These are exciting times for Fulham supporters following the acquisition of Dimitar Berbatov, prompting Martin Jol to declare,
“Of course you have to pay good players good money.”
“But I think we have made steps over the last few years and there have been many clubs interested in Dimitar.”
“They all tried to get him but we were able and capable of getting him. I tried to do something months ago and it didn`t come off.”
“Now for him, it was the right moment to make a decision and he made that decision for us.”
“Our fans will be happy and proud, because it is probably the biggest signing in the club`s history.”
“Hopefully he can score goals and we`ve other good players around him.”
We`ll second that.
West Ham Team News:
West Ham took something of a mauling in their last Premier League fixture against Swansea and Sam Allardyce made nine changes for the midweek League Cup win over Crewe. Now whether Sam will revert to those who have started in the first two Premier League games or mix and match remains to be seen.
One thing is for certain though, is that it is likely that we will be facing West Ham`s latest acquisition, Andy Carroll, a job for Brede Hangeland methinks.
Missing for West Ham will be the Welsh international midfielder, Jack Collison, who is injured,
Player to watch: Kevin Nolan
Has the uncanny knack of being in exactly the right place at the right time to score. Fulham will need to track his runs and make sure he doesn`t arrive unmarked in those dangerous areas.
Fulham Team News:
With Moussa Dembele having left for pastures new and with Clint Dempsey not wanting to play for us, Martin Jol found he was deprived of two big time players.
Although Dimitar Berbatov`s signing has been well received by the supporters, the news that he`ll be declaring his intentions at a press conference, in Bulgaria, on Monday, would seem to mean he won`t be in the squad for the trip across London.
Kieran Richardson, signed form Sunderland, could feature though.
Out through injury are Kasim Frei and Philippe Senderos.
Player to watch: Bryan Ruiz
Following the departure of Moussa Dembele, Martin Jol will be looking towards Ruiz to provide the flair in the middle of the park.
Match Facts & Stats
Upton Park isn`t the best of grounds for us. We`ve only won once in our last eight Premier League visits and that came back in 2001.
The last time the two club were both in the Premier League, in 2010/2011, West Ham took four points off of Fulham.
Fulham enter this fixture having lost two on the trot, Manchester United and Sheffield Wednesday, whilst West Ham won on their last outing, against Crewe.
The men in charge are:-
Referee – A. Taylor
Assistants – S. Long and M.McDonough
Fourth Official – L. Mason
After opening the season with a win and a loss, Fulham can`t afford to suffer another defeat, we need t be going to places like Upton Park and getting results. West Ham will be buoyed by their recent midweek success and Upton Park will be as hostile as ever, but after the spirited performance last Saturday (we`ll turn a blind-eye to the defeat at Hillsborough in midweek) I reckon the least we`ll get is a draw and possibly a win.
In a fortnights time we entertain West Brom.