West Ham 1.89 v Fulham 4.40; The Draw 4.00 Friday 22 February, 19:45 Live on Sky Sports Main Event
Fulham match comes at perfect time for West Ham
West Ham are in the midst of a poor run of form, though there most recent couple of results suggests that corner may have already been turned.
The Hammers are without a win in five games (D2 L3), but there last two games have been drawn. A 1-1 draw with Premier League title contenders Liverpool was followed by a useful point at Crystal Palace, leaving West Ham in need of a win, yet showing some signs of improvement.
Struggling Fulham could therefore be the perfect opponents for West Ham at this stage of the season. Especially as after this match the East Londoners face a difficult away trip to Manchester City.
As has been the case for most of the campaign, West Ham are having to deal with a large number of injured players. Fabian Balbuena, Winston Reid, Carlos Sanchez, Jack Wilshere and Andriy Yarmolenko are all out, while Manuel Lanzini and Samir Nasri are doubts.
Ranieri unable to prevent the inevitable
When Fulham appointed Claudio Ranieri in November, they described him as 'risk free'. Some weeks later, they might now wish to revisit that claim.
For Fulham have only won three of the fifteen matches they've played since Ranieri took charge (D3 L9). He has been unable to improve Fulham defensively, with the club having conceded more than any other team in the Premier League this season.
Eight points away from safety, Fulham look doomed to a return to the Championship. Should they return, it's likely that they will lose their brightest talents, with Aleksandar Mitrovic having scored enough top flight goals to stay in the Premier League and their homegrown winger Ryan Sessegnon forced out of the side for the short-term signing of the veteran Ryan Babel.
Ranieri will be without the injured Marcus Bettinelli and Lazar Markovic for this London derby. Also doubtful are Lazar Markovic and Harvard Nordtveidt, who are both still building up their fitness, after signing for the club in January.
Hammers can provide more horrors for Fulham
West Ham are the 1.89favourites, with the draw at 4.00 and Fulham at 4.40.
It says something for how badly Fulham are playing, that a West Ham side without a win in five are rated at odds-on to claim victory. The price is close enough to evens however, to represent value against Ranieri's leaky defence.
Goals guaranteed to flow
Fulham have conceded in each of their last seven games, while West Ham have done likewise in each of their last five. It's no surprise then to see that both teams to score is the favourite at 1.70.
Over 2.5 goals has landed in six of Fulham's last seven games and can be backed at 1.76. A West Ham win and over 2.5 goals is 2.70.
Steer clear of favourite Arnautovic
Marko Arnautovic is the favourite to find the net at 2.30, but didn't start West Ham's last match against Crystal Palace, after his flirtation with a move to China in January. A better bet then is Chicharito at 2.40.
For Fulham, Mitrovic is priced at 2.80. At the same odds, you can back Felipe Anderson, who has scored eight Premier League goals from the wing for West Ham this season.
Back West Ham to beat Fulham at 1.89
Back over 2.5 goals between West Ham and Fulham at 1.76