West Ham vs Fulham
2 goals from old boy Frank Lampard condemned West Ham to a disappointing home defeat to Chelsea, and they host Fulham in what can be billed as a real ‘six-pointer’.
West Ham conceded three times in their defeat to Chelsea, but were it not for James Collins it could have been so much worse for the Hammers. The Welshman made 4 blocks at the weekend, the most in the league, and also made a total of 20 defensive contributions (based on blocks, clearances, tackles and interceptions). This was the third most in the league.
Ravel Morrision was impressive again for the Hammers, producing a dynamic performance as part of West Ham’s no-strikers formation. The former Manchester United trainee demonstrated his distribution ability, as he completed a pass in Chelsea’s half at an impressive rate of a pass every 3.2 minutes.
Stewart Downing may have had a tough time at Anfield, but his ability to deliver the ball has never been questioned. This season he has swung in a total of 14 crosses – the third most in the league.
Fulham suffered a disappointing defeat at home to Swansea at the weekend, and need a win to overturn this concerning downwards momentum. A small consolation for Martin Jol would have been the performance of defender Fernando Amorebieta. Amorebieta made an impressive 25 attacking contributions at the weekend, based on passes in the opposition half, crosses dribbles and shots.
Fulham fans have been quick to jump on Bryan Ruiz’s back this season, unhappy with what they perceive as a number of abject performances. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, however, goes some way to provide a rebuttal to Ruiz’s critics, as it demonstrates that he has made 5 goalscoring contributions this term (based on goals and assists).
Steve Sidwell has been a mainstay in Fulham’s midfield since his arrival from Aston Villa two years ago. His importance is evident in the number of minutes he has featured in this term, as no other player in the Fulham squad matches Sidwell’s 1004. The former Villa man has also made more interceptions than any other player in the Fulham team, with 29.
Roy Hodgson appears to have thrown Scott Parker into the international wilderness, and appears that Parker’s World Cup dream may well be over. However, if Hodgson was looking for a hard tackling central midfielder, then he would be wise to consider the Fulham man as Parker has won an impressive 80% of his challenges this season