STATS: Fulham vs West Ham

Fulham vs West Ham 15:00

Fulham were thrashed at the hands of Hull City last time out, Steve Bruce’s side hammering them 6-0 at the KC Stadium. The Cottagers’ relegation fears will have been compounded after this result and Rene Meulensteen has some serious work to do to help them avoid the drop.

Patjim Kasami has turned a few heads at Craven Cottage this season after some solid displays in a difficult campaign. He has shown his inexperience at times though, the 21-year old perhaps a little over zealous in his work without the ball. He’s racked up 30 fouls this season and is the youngest player in the top 30 in this category.

Some of Tom Huddlestone’s shooting statistics from Fulham’s last game against Hull would suggest that the Cottager’s back four were not closing down Hull attacks from midfield quickly enough last weekend. Huddlestone was allowed to get off more shots than any other player in the last round (5) which would suggest Fulham’s defence and midfield need to work harder this weekend to close down the space in between the lines which the likes of Kevin Nolan and Mohamed Diame will be attempting to exploit.

Adel Taarabt could be key to Fulham’s chances of retaining their Premier League status this season, the Moroccan possessing that rare ability to change matches on his own. Taarabt currently possess the best shot accuracy rate of any Fulham player this term, working the ‘keeper with 84.6% of his 13 attempts.

West Ham played out a 3-3 thriller against West Brom last time out at the Boleyn Ground. It was a result which did little to ease the relegation fears around Sam Allardyce’s team and they face a potential backlash away at Craven Cottage this week against a Fulham side who were embarrassed by Hull last weekend.

Guy Demel continues to have some of the best defensive statistics in the West Ham squad this term, the Ivory Coast defender pulling together a consistent string of solid performances. No player in the Hammers squad can rival his tackle success rate of 92.9% from 28 attempted challenges this season.

For all his virtues, Mohamed Diame must make more effective use of possession when he finds himself in scoring positions should the Hammers wish to maintain a meaningful bid for Premier League survival. Diame ranks third in the league for total off target attempts on goal, with 24 according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. This however represents a lower percentage of his overall total attempts than many other players, with his 25% the lowest shot accuracy rate of any of the top 30 players in the league in this category.

Although not discussed as often as he should be on the back pages, Mark Noble has nonetheless been performing to his usual high level for West Ham this season. He is the only player in the Hammers squad to have moved into triple figures for both passes in the opponent’s half and defensive contributions (blocks, interceptions, clearances and tackles won), with 114 and 544 respectively.