Friday, January 12, 2007

Fulham faces West Ham; and Boa Morte, Who Has a New Shirt and Something to Prove

It's been just over a week since Fulham reached a deal with West Ham United transferring Luis Boa Morte, from his Craven Cottage home of five years, to Upton Park.

Saturday, West Ham host Fulham with Boa Morte and his team looking to get even for comments made by Fulham boss Coleman about his former skipper's play this season and predictions that West Ham is relegation fodder.

These two teams drew 0-0 at Craven Cottage just three weeks ago on December 23rd. In that match, West Ham left-back Paul Konchesky was shown a straight red card.

While newly appointed manager Alan Curbishley enjoyed a dream start to his managerial duties at ther East London club with a 1-0 win over Premiership leaders Manchester United on December 16th, things have gone south since then in league play. Over the busy holiday fixture period the Hammers lost to Portsmouth and Manchester City at home and also fell to Reading by a whopping score of 6-0 on New Years day.

Last weekend the Hammers did put things together in the 3rd round of the FA Cup with a 3-0 win over strugglers League One strugglers Brighton. And Boa Morte, playing in the new shirt for the first time, figured mightily in that crucial win with an assist for the first, and a set-up for the second goal.

Fulham on the other hand comes into Saturday's match on a bit of a roll. While it is not a winning roll, it is not a losing roll either. Fulham has gone six matches in all competitions unbeaten with the last five being draws. Their last loss came at Liverpool on Saturday, December 9th.

Since the defeat at Liverpool, the Cottagers defeated Middlesbrough and drew with West Ham, Charlton, Chelsea, Watford and most recently Leicester City in the 3rd round of the FA Cup.

One might look at the recent run of form by Fulham as the Cottagers missing opportunities to pick up six Premiership points against strugglers West Ham, Charlton and Watford, but a draw is always better than a loss.

Clint Dempsey, though signed wont be eligible to play for another week, while paerwork is processed. The other new acquisition, Montella, is expected to see action.

Prediction: West Ham 2-1 Fulham Reason, too much hot blood for Fulham to handle.

Blatantly cadged from Chicago Tom's match preview on FulhamUSA