Fulham v West Ham (Preview)
It`s our last home game of the season this Sunday, West Ham United are the visitors but, in all honesty, all eyes are transfixed on the Europa League Final, in Hamburg. Nevertheless, it still promises to be an interesting encounter between two teams who should be able to produce an attractive encounter now there`s no pressure on either of them, in the Premier League.
Forgive us if we indulge ourselves, we`ve never been to a European Final before so, despite the prospect of two Premier League games between us and that night in Hamburg, we can`t help but think about it.
Brede Hangland, a stalwart on Thursday evening, had this to say,
"It`s hard to believe what has happened. We started playing in July and it feels like an eternity."
"To be in the Final after all those great games and the top class opposition is something we`ll always remember."
"Making the final is a great achievement. I don`t think we have much to lose now."
"We should just go out and enjoy the game and see what happens."
Somehow, considering the circumstances, I reckon Brede could be one oF a raft of players sitting out the action this Sunday, no point in taking any chances is there?
Fulham Team News:
After securing a Europa League Final spot, we`re under no illusions that (Sir) Roy Hodgson could well be a little cagey with his team selection for the visit of West Ham.
After such a long season, this will be our 60th of the campaign, Roy will probably rest a few key players and the starting eleven could almost have a surreal look to it.
Definitely out are Andrew Johnson and Bobby Zamora, whilst we expect Brede Hangeland, AaronHughes, Danny Murphy, Damien Duff and Dickson Etuhu could all be rested.
It`ll be interesting to see if we`re right!
Player to watch: Chris Smalling
This will be the last time we see Chris in a Fulham shirt, at Craven Cottage, as he prepares for anew career as a Manchester United player. Let`s give him a good send-off!
West Ham Team News:
Gianfranco Zola brings his West Ham side across London knowing that relegation is no longer a threat; however, stories continue to circulate that Zola is not long for the hot-seat which would be a shame considering he`s operated in such trying circumstances and is such a marvellous guy.
As for West Ham, they`ll be without the injured Kieron Dyer, James Tomkin, Hertha Ilunga and Zavon Hines.
Player to watch: Scott Parker
One of the best midfield players in the Premier League but one who doesn`t get the international recognition he deserves.
Match Facts & Stats
The history book favours West Ham United. In 12 Premier League matches they are yet to lose to us.
In the reciprocating fixture this season we were deprived of a win by a last minute goal from Junior Stanislas.
Andre Marriner is the official in charge this Sunday
After the euphoria of Thursday night, it`s bound to be a little flat on Sunday and many a mind will be looking towards Hamburg. Our home form been fantastic this season but don`t be surprised if everything catches up with us this weekend and we drop a few points. A 1-1 draw methinks.
Fulham finish their season with a trip to the Emirates Stadium to play Arsenal. Then there`s the small matter of a trip to Hamburg for the Europa League Final.