Just hours before the Sky Sports Friday Night Football fixture, we tell you all the key pre-match statistics you need to know about the Irons’ second London derby in succession in our Stats Pack. Join us.
Returning Lanzini threat
Having been out of action with a ruptured ACL in the knee sustained during pre-FIFA World Cup 2018 training with Argentina for nearly a year now, Manuel Lanzini could make an eagerly-awaited return for the hosts tonight.
If he was to, it would be his landmark 100th appearance in Claret & Blue and there’s a specific reason why relegation-threatened Fulham will be hoping that the Hammers wait until the trip to league leaders Manchester City next Wednesday to re-introduce him.
Whilst the number ten has never faced the Cottagers before, he has a sublime record in London derbies and while not likely to start, if he comes on from the substitutes’ bench. He will be very keen to continue it in Stratford.
In 25 London derbies since joining the cub from Al-Jazira in summer 2015, Lanzini has scored nine times with over half of his West Ham goals coming against fellow London-based opposition. Up until the start of last season, he had a record of a goal in ever other London derby he had played in.
The last meeting of these respective tenth-placed and 19th-placed teams came just over two months ago in December 2018 at Craven Cottage, also in the Premier League.
Tonight’s home side have fond memories of that Saturday evening as they left west London with all three points in the bag courtesy of first-half strikes from Robert Snodgrass and Michail Antonio. At the time, it was their fourth successive league win.
Last time out in this fixture
While the sides have met fairly recently, this particular fixture, with West Ham welcoming Fulham to their ground, hasn’t been played out in almost six years, a very long time in football.
The last time it occurred came in November 2013, the season the Cottagers were relegated to the Sky Bet Championship, not returning until promotion last campaign. A 3-0 victory for Sam Allardyce’s Hammers was in order on that day, goals from Mohamed Diame, Carlton Cole and Joe Cole sealing it.
Despite being separated by nine places and 16 points in the PL table, the East Londoners and the West Londoners enter this one in similarly poor form. With the hosts not winning in their last five in all competitions.
Ranieri’s men have at least managed one victory in their last five, coming from behind to defeat Brighton & Hove Albion at home in late January. However, they’ve lost the other four and you’d have to go back to 29 December to find their last triumph before the Seagulls clash.
Last five matches in all competitions:
West Ham: LLLDD
When we look at the head-to-head record over the 123-year and 102-match history of this particular all-London matchup, we find a tale of dominance for the Hammers.
In over a 100 clashes between the teams, West Ham have won almost 50 (47), while Fulham have triumphed in just 32 games and the spoils have been shared on 23 occasions. But not since December 2006.
Finally, there can be little doubting that this game brings opportunities and not just for the home side under the lights of the former London 2012 Olympic Stadium.
Whilst Pellegrini’s team can leapfrog Everton in their game-in-hand over their rivals for European football and move up into ninth position, a mere three points off Wolverhampton Wanderers in seventh. With a surprise away three points, the visitors could keep their faint hopes of survival just about alive by moving within four of 18th-placed Southampton, themselves just a point from safety.
So, now that you’ve been given your fair share of stats, all the stats you needed to know, ahead of West Ham vs Fulham in the Premier League this evening. All that’s left to do is see if the Hammers can collect only their second league win of 2019 or the Cottagers can cause an upset by winning on the road for the first time in the league in 2018/2019.