Fulham vs West Ham preview: Hammers aim to extend winning run
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Last Updated: 15/12/18 7:23am
West Ham will be looking for a fourth Premier League win in a row when they travel to Fulham on Saturday (kick-off 5.30pm).
The Hammers have beaten Newcastle, Cardiff and Crystal Palace to climb up the table - they are just one point outside the top half.
"We are improving without any doubt," said manager Manuel Pellegrini.
"The results say we are improving and scoring goals, which is not easy. It is not easy to win three games in a row and score three goals in each.
"We must be very careful. We must continue working in the same way. We must try to keep getting good results."
While West Ham are moving up the table, Fulham are bottom.
They have taken four points from four matches under new manager Claudio Ranieri, losing 4-1 at Manchester United last weekend.
Maxime Le Marchand is out injured for Fulham and Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa is suspended.
Calum Chambers, Floyd Ayite and Kevin McDonald are available.
West Ham's Jack Wilshere will miss the trip with an ankle injury.
The midfielder could be joined on the sidelines by striker Lucas Perez, who suffered a badly cut foot against Crystal Palace last week.
Marko Arnautovic, Andriy Yarmolenko, Ryan Fredericks, Carlos Sanchez, Winston Reid and Manuel Lanzini remain on a lengthy casualty list.
Lucas Perez will be assessed due to a foot injury but Andy Carroll, who replaced Perez at half-time last weekend, is fit.
Fulham have won three of their last four Premier League games against West Ham at Craven Cottage (L1), with each of those wins coming under a different manager (Roy Hodgson, Martin Jol and Rene Meulensteen).
West Ham have won 55% of their Premier League meetings with Fulham (11/20); their best win percentage against any London opponent in the competition.
The last time Fulham faced West Ham as a newly-promoted Premier League side was in April 2002, with Frederic Kanoute scoring the winner for the Hammers in a 1-0 win at Craven Cottage.
Fulham are now without a clean sheet in 20 Premier League games, conceding 51 goals since a 1-0 win against Norwich City in April 2014.
West Ham United haven't won any of their last seven Premier League away games against sides starting the day bottom of the table (D5 L2), drawing the last four. Their last such victory was against QPR in October 2012 (2-1).
West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini has won both of his previous two Premier League games against Fulham, with his Manchester City side scoring nine goals against them in the 2013-14 season (5-0 at home and 4-2 away).
West Ham striker Javier Hernandez has scored three goals in his last three Premier League games. His next goal will be his 50th in the competition, with all 49 so far coming from inside the box.
West Ham have turned the corner. They're on a roll. They've had a lot of hard games this season, and we judged them quite early on, but they've bounced back.
They have good individual players who can win football matches; Marko Arnautovic is injured, but Felipe Anderson has stepped up big time. Andy Carroll is coming back, and he'll provide another dimension. What an option to have.
But I've got to go West Ham here. I don't fancy Fulham one bit, I just think they're going to concede too many goals. I'd be shocked if they stayed up; they have to score two or three goals every week to win a football match.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-3 (18/1 with Sky Bet)