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Premier League preview: West Ham United v Fulham

30 August 2012 12:53

West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce could ring the changes ahead of his side's English Premier League clash with Fulham on Saturday.

After an opening-day victory against Aston Villa, West Ham were brought back to earth with a thud as Swansea City thoroughly outclassed them in a 3-0 win last week.

The newly promoted side quickly bounced back, defeating Crewe Alexandra 2-0 in the League Cup on Tuesday at Upton Park.

The likes of Ricardo Vaz Te, Nicky Maynard and Mobido Maiga – all on the bench against Swansea – impressed in the cup clash and could be in line for a start as Allardyce looks to refresh his attacking options for the visit of Fulham.

"It's been a perfect night," Hammers assistant manager Neil McDonald said after the victory.

"Two goals, a clean sheet, we're through into the hat for the next round. And, more importantly, players who needed games have had a fantastic work-out.

"They have put in a performance that will be quite rightly knocking on the manager's door to say 'I'm available and ready'."

Matt Jarvis is one player who will remain in West Ham's starting side, with the winger – who joined the club for 10.75 million pounds from Wolves last week – impressive in glimpses on his debut in Wales.

"When you give him that service he is exceptionally talented in the final third," Allardyce said of Jarvis.

"I think their full-backs just couldn't stop him crossing the ball when he did that little trick where he drops the shoulder, because he is so good with both feet. He tired a bit but he has had such a big week and he will get better and better as he settles in with the players."

Defender James Collins was poor against Swansea, gifting the second goal of the game to Michu with an errant back-pass, and will be lucky if he retains his starting place.

Fulham also lost in their last Premier League encounter, although they were impressive in the 3-2 defeat at Manchester United.

Belgian attacker Moussa Dembele starred but looks set for a move to Tottenham while American Clint Dempsey – comfortably the club's best player last term – has not featured yet as the saga surrounding his possible transfer continues.

Manager Martin Jol will not be happy with a 1-0 loss to Championship side Sheffield Wednesday in the League Cup on Tuesday, but will take heart from the fact his side have scored seven goals in the league so far this season.

Recent history is against Fulham, who have won just one of their last 15 matches against West Ham.

John Arne Riise (leg) could return for Jol's side this weekend but defender Philippe Senderos (foot) will miss, while Jack Collison (knee) is sidelined for West Ham.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 12 +19 32
2 12 +18 26
3 12 +11 24
4 12 +4 19
5 12 -1 19
6 12 +4 18
7 12 +3 18
8 12 +5 17
9 12 +3 17
10 12 -1 17
11 12 -2 15
12 12 -3 14
13 12 -4 13
14 12 -7 13
15 12 -4 12
16 12 -11 12
17 12 -3 11
18 12 -7 10
19 12 -12 10
20 12 -12 8

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