West Ham v Fulham: the psychology and the predictions

This has not been a good year for West Ham – indeed it was not a good end to the old year either.

Among the low points there was the end of the year defeat to Burnley, the FA Cup trauma against AFC Wimbledon, and now five games without a win.

30 Dec 2018 Burnley v West Ham United L 2-0
02 Jan 2019 West Ham United v Brighton and Hove Albion D 2-2
05 Jan 2019 West Ham United v Birmingham City FAC W 2-0
12 Jan 2019 West Ham United v Arsenal W 1-0
19 Jan 2019 AFC Bournemouth v West Ham United L 2-0
26 Jan 2019 AFC Wimbledon v West Ham United FAC L 4-2
29 Jan 2019 Wolverhampton Wanderers v West Ham United L 3-0
04 Feb 2019 West Ham United v Liverpool D 1-1
09 Feb 2019 Crystal Palace v West Ham United D 1-1

Normally comparing Fulham with any other team, Fulham come off worst, but not in this case…

29 Dec 2018 Fulham v Huddersfield Town W 1-0
01 Jan 2019 Arsenal v Fulham L 4-1
06 Jan 2019 Fulham v Oldham Athletic FAC L 1-2
12 Jan 2019 Burnley v Fulham L 2-1
20 Jan 2019 Fulham v Tottenham Hotspur L 1-2
29 Jan 2019 Fulham v Brighton and Hove Albion W 4-2
02 Feb 2019 Crystal Palace v Fulham L 2-0
09 Feb 2019 Fulham v Manchester United L 0-3

Fulham across the same period also have two wins – beating Huddersfield (who seem to find it impossible to beat anyone) and Brighton (which was more of a surprise).  But otherwise it is defeats all the way.

Fulham of course are still relegation favourites however while West Ham are solidly mid-table.  It would take a continuing collapse in confidence for West Ham to slip below 12th position – but a defeat in this game could well give them that dark feeling.

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
10 West Ham United 26 9 6 11 32 39 -7 33
11 AFC Bournemouth 26 10 3 13 37 47 -10 33
12 Leicester City 26 9 5 12 31 34 -3 32
13 Crystal Palace 26 7 6 13 27 34 -7 27
14 Brighton and Hove Albion 26 7 6 13 28 39 -11 27
15 Burnley 26 7 6 13 29 47 -18 27
16 Newcastle United 26 6 7 13 22 34 -12 25
17 Cardiff City 26 7 4 15 24 47 -23 25
18 Southampton 26 5 9 12 28 44 -16 24
19 Fulham 26 4 5 17 25 58 -33 17
20 Huddersfield Town 26 2 5 19 14 48 -34 11

Looking at the home only games West Ham are not that impressive

Home games only

11 Brighton and Hove Albion 13 5 4 4 16 15 1 19
12 West Ham United 13 5 3 5 18 19 -1 18
13 Cardiff City 13 5 2 6 15 23 -8 17
14 Fulham 13 4 3 6 17 26 -9 15

Five wins and five defeats at home and a goal difference at the “London Stadium” of minus one is not impressive for a club that seem to start each season with the owners suggesting they have major aspirations.

But they are playing Fulham, a team whose away record is beyond catastrophic

Away games only

17 Brighton and Hove Albion 13 2 2 9 12 24 -12 8
18 Cardiff City 13 2 2 9 9 24 -15 8
19 Huddersfield Town 12 1 3 8 8 26 -18 6
20 Fulham 13 0 2 11 8 32 -24 2

No wins, two draws.  The Fulham team psychologist will have to perform miracles in order to get the players of Fulham to believe that they can get their first away win.  They will need luck, and a collapse in belief by WHU.  It could happen, but a 2-0 win to WHU seems more likely.

Burnley v Fulham: the predictions, the injuries and the psychology

A look at the foot of the Premier League table shows this is an important game for both sides…

Club P W D L F A GD
Pts
16 Burnley 21 5 3 13 21 42 -21 18
17 Cardiff City 21 5 3 13 19 41 -22 18
18 Southampton 21 3 7 11 21 38 -17 16
19 Fulham 21 3 5 13 19 47 -28 14
20 Huddersfield Town 21 2 4 15 13 37 -24 10

A win for Fulham won’t take them out of trouble but will be helpful, but it will probably send Burnley back down towards the bottom three.

Looking at just the home form, Burnley are spreading such points as they get between the home and away matches – 10 out of 18 points coming at home.  There’s not the home advantage they have felt in other seasons.

16 Burnley 10 3 1 6 12 20 -8 10
17 Crystal Palace 10 2 3 5 5 9 -4 9
18 Southampton 10 1 5 4 11 17 -6 8
19 Newcastle United 11 2 1 8 7 17 -10 7
20 Huddersfield Town 11 1 2 8 5 16 -11 5

But Fulham are very much a home team – and sadly for them they are playing away this time.  Here are their away results.

16 Southampton 11 2 2 7 10 21 -11 8
17 Burnley 11 2 2 7 9 22 -13 8
18 Cardiff City 10 1 2 7 6 18 -12 5
19 Huddersfield Town 10 1 2 7 8 21 -13 5
20 Fulham 11 0 2 9 7 28 -21 2

To get a win in this game they would need a major turn around from a club that has only scored seven goals on the road.

What makes matters worse for Fulham is the fact that Burnley has just had three wins in a row after a sequence of just one win and one draw in 11.

30 Dec 2018 Burnley v West Ham United W 2-0
02 Jan 2019 Huddersfield Town v Burnley W 1-2
05 Jan 2019 Burnley v Barnsley FAC W 1-0

Fulham did have a sort of run around Christmas but it did not last…

2 Dec 2018 Newcastle United v Fulham D 0-0
26 Dec 2018 Fulham v Wolverhampton Wanderers D 1-1
29 Dec 2018 Fulham v Huddersfield Town W 1-0
01 Jan 2019 Arsenal v Fulham L 4-1
06 Jan 2019 Fulham v Oldham Athletic FAC L 1-2

Indeed three games without defeat was a run for them, but that was set aside by subsequent results.

The psychology

Damage is done to club morale with defeats to lower league opposition, and even more so when it happens in front of your own fans.

Worse, Oldham are not just lower league, they are in the lowest football league – League Two, and not even at the top of that league, but actually 10th.

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Lincoln City 25 15 6 4 45 24 21 51
2 Milton Keynes Dons 25 13 8 4 41 19 22 47
3 Bury 27 13 7 7 49 29 20 46
4 Mansfield Town 25 11 12 2 37 19 18 45
5 Carlisle United 27 14 3 10 45 32 13 45
6 Forest Green Rovers 25 11 10 4 39 25 14 43
7 Exeter City 26 12 7 7 38 28 10 43
8 Colchester United 27 12 7 8 39 30 9 43
9 Tranmere Rovers 26 10 9 7 38 32 6 39
10 Oldham Athletic 26 10 8 8 40 33 7 38

This could be the biggest factor of all and herald a collapse by Fulham.  They will need enormous mental strength to win this game.  Failure could see the season come to a very quick end.  Victory would show that they might climb out of trouble in the league.

Injuries

In the physioroom injury chart both team have just two players out.  Bardsley and Lennon.  Mawson and Zambo Anguissa for Fulham.

I think the game will be Burnley’s.

Arsenal v Fulham: the predictions

Arsenal’s problems last season were not with their home form, where they were by and large terrific, but away.   And this season, although the away form has been better overall, the home form has held up.

Here is the home form league table…

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Liverpool 10 9 1 0 27 3 24 28
2 Manchester City 10 9 0 1 35 9 26 27
3 Arsenal 10 7 2 1 20 9 11 23
4 Chelsea 10 6 3 1 19 8 11 21
5 Tottenham Hotspur 9 6 0 3 18 9 9 18

Just one defeat at home, and that at the very start of the season when the new manager was still getting used to his team and the new arrivals.   Arsenal are not scoring at home in the way that Liverpool and Manchester City can, but they are knocking in an average of two goals a game – better than everyone in the league except the top two in the table above.

Only three teams have a home defence tighter than Arsenal – Chelsea and Liverpool as shown above – and surprisingly Crystal Palace who have scored five and let in eight at home.  Not a particular goal fest at Selhurst.  I wonder what the season ticket holders make of it all.

Fulham away are a different kettle of fish…

16 Southampton 10 2 1 7 10 21 -11 7
17 Cardiff City 10 1 2 7 6 18 -12 5
18 Huddersfield Town 10 1 2 7 8 21 -13 5
19 Burnley 10 1 2 7 7 21 -14 5
20 Fulham 10 0 2 8 6 24 -18 2

No wins, two draws and eight defeats, scored six and conceded 24.  So under one goal a game scored and 2.4 conceded per away game – the lack of wins is not surprising.

Arsenal in December have not been the team that went 22 games undefeated earlier, and they have an urgent need to regain their confidence.   The return of injured defenders might help, but above all they will know that after the Liverpool defeat they need to keep the fans onside.

The table below shows league games only…

Date Game Res Score
02 Dec 2018 Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur W 4-2
05 Dec 2018 Manchester United v Arsenal D 2-2
08 Dec 2018 Arsenal v Huddersfield Town W 1-0
16 Dec 2018 Southampton v Arsenal L 3-2
22 Dec 2018 Arsenal v Burnley W 3-1
26 Dec 2018 Brighton and Hove Albion v Arsenal D 1-1
29 Dec 2018 Liverpool v Arsenal L 5-1

Three wins, two draws and two defeats is not of the best, but in this match Arsenal are facing a side in real trouble… although there are signs of life…

02 Dec 2018 Chelsea v Fulham L 2-0
05 Dec 2018 Fulham v Leicester City D 1-1
08 Dec 2018 Manchester United v Fulham L 4-1
15 Dec 2018 Fulham v West Ham United L 0-2
22 Dec 2018 Newcastle United v Fulham D 0-0
26 Dec 2018 Fulham v Wolverhampton W D 1-1
29 Dec 2018 Fulham v Huddersfield Town W 1-0

The two draws helped steady the ship and then came the very welcome win against Huddersfield.  But Huddersfield are in as much trouble as Fulham, and I am not sure there is enough of a revitalisation for the club to hold Arsenal.

Overall Arsenal have scored 42 to Fulham’s 18 in 20 games which makes me think that even an Arsenal still shaken from the defeat at Liverpool should make it through 2-1 at the very least.

 

 

Fulham v Huddersfield Town: the predictions

Fulham have not only moved off the bottom of the League but also bottom of the League when we just look at home games

Home games only

Pos Club P W D L F A GD Pts
14 Cardiff City 10 4 1 5 13 20 -7 13
15 Crystal Palace 9 2 3 4 5 8 -3 9
16 Fulham 9 2 3 4 11 19 -8 9
17 Southampton 9 1 5 3 10 14 -4 8
18 Newcastle United 10 2 1 7 7 15 -8 7
19 Burnley 9 2 1 6 10 20 -10 7
20 Huddersfield Town 10 1 2 7 4 14 -10 5

Two wins, three draws and four defeats is not terrific, but it is an improvement.  And just 11 goals at home in nine games is not great but it is better than five teams around them.

Huddersfield Town have only won one game all season, and are already three points away from safety.  But away from home they are not in the bottom three, just as Fulham are not in the home games table.

Away games only

14 AFC Bournemouth 9 3 0 6 11 19 -8 9
15 Brighton and Hove Albion 10 2 1 7 7 16 -9 7
16 Southampton 10 2 1 7 10 21 -11 7
17 Huddersfield Town 9 1 2 6 8 20 -12 5
18 Burnley 10 1 2 7 7 21 -14 5
19 Cardiff City 9 0 2 7 5 18 -13 2
20 Fulham 10 0 2 8 6 24 -18 2

So a team that has won two out of nine at home against a team that has won one out of nine away.   A team that has conceded 19 goals at home against a team that has scored 20 goals away.

The only factor where there is any light between the two is goals – 11 for Fulham at home and 8 for Huddersfield away.  Is that enough to give a home win?  In such a battle at the bottom it could be.

However there is one other factor where the teams can be separated:  The head to head.

If we travel back to 1994, there is only one Huddersfield win…

Date Game Res Score Competition
19 Mar 1994 Fulham v Huddersfield Town D 1-1 Division 2
23 Oct 1999 Huddersfield Town v Fulham D 1-1 Division 1
07 May 2000 Fulham v Huddersfield Town W 3-0 Division 1
04 Nov 2000 Fulham v Huddersfield Town W 3-0 Division 1
14 Apr 2001 Huddersfield Town v Fulham W 1-2 Division 1
08 Nov 2014 Fulham v Huddersfield Town W 3-1 Championship
21 Mar 2015 Huddersfield Town v Fulham W 0-2 Championship
22 Aug 2015 Fulham v Huddersfield Town D 1-1 Championship
16 Jan 2016 Huddersfield Town v Fulham D 1-1 Championship
29 Oct 2016 Fulham v Huddersfield Town W 5-0 Championship
22 Apr 2017 Huddersfield Town v Fulham W 1-4 Championship
05 Nov 2018 Huddersfield Town v Fulham L 1-0 Premier League

And it is not just that Fulham almost always win but also a look at the scores.  In the last three meetings there has been 10 goals for Fulham against two for Huddersfield.

This really does make it look like a Fulham win.

However there is just one more issue…

If we look at the league table

Pos Club P W D L F A GD Pts
17 Cardiff City 19 4 3 12 18 38 -20 15
18 Burnley 19 3 3 13 17 41 -24 12
19 Fulham 19 2 5 12 17 43 -26 11
20 Huddersfield Town 19 2 4 13 12 34 -22 10

three teams are slipping behind.  Can any of them make up the difference a push Cardiff down rather than themselves?  My view is that Burnley have committed suicide (see the last Burnley review) but I suspect one of the other two will make a recovery – and if either win in this round of games that could be the starting point.

I’m going for Fulham, although not by much.

See also

Fulham v Wolverhampton Wanderers: match predictions

In broad terms things could not look much worse for Fulham, being bottom of the table and four points off safety

Pos Tam P W D L F A GD Pts
16 Southampton 18 3 6 9 19 33 -14 15
17 Cardiff City 18 4 2 12 18 38 -20 14
18 Burnley 18 3 3 12 16 36 -20 12
19 Huddersfield Town 18 2 4 12 11 31 -20 10
20 Fulham 18 2 4 12 16 42 -26 10

Although their home form isn’t quite as bad as one might assume…

15 Southampton 8 1 5 2 9 12 -3 8
16 Crystal Palace 8 2 2 4 5 8 -3 8
17 Fulham 8 2 2 4 10 18 -8 8
18 Burnley 8 2 1 5 9 15 -6 7
19 Newcastle United 10 2 1 7 7 15 -8 7
20 Huddersfield Town 10 1 2 7 4 14 -10 5

The fact is they have only lost half of their games at home, drawing two and winning two.  But their goal difference at home is minus eight, due in no small measure to the defeat at the Cottage by Arsenal

But the terrible run of eight successive defeats is now over and although they are not exactly setting football alight since that point, they are now doing a little better…

Date Game Res Score Competition
24 Nov 2018 Fulham v Southampton W 3-2 Premier League
02 Dec 2018 Chelsea v Fulham L 2-0 Premier League
05 Dec 2018 Fulham v Leicester City D 1-1 Premier League
08 Dec 2018 Manchester United v Fulham L 4-1 Premier League
15 Dec 2018 Fulham v West Ham United L 0-2 Premier League
22 Dec 2018 Newcastle United v Fulham D 0-0 Premier League

One win in six is not a cause for celebration, but three games undefeated in six when bottom of the league is at least a straw to grab.

As an away team Woverhampton are mid-table

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Liverpool 10 8 2 0 21 5 16 26
2 Tottenham Hotspur 10 8 0 2 19 10 9 24
3 Manchester City 8 5 2 1 15 4 11 17
4 Chelsea 8 5 1 2 16 7 9 16
5 Arsenal 8 4 2 2 20 15 5 14
6 Manchester United 10 4 2 4 20 19 1 14
7 Leicester City 10 4 2 4 12 13 -1 14
8 Watford 9 3 3 3 11 10 1 12
9 West Ham United 8 3 2 3 11 11 0 11
10 Wolverhampton Wanderers 8 3 2 3 7 8 -1 11

While Fulham have 2 wins, 2 draws and 4 defeats, Wolverhampton have 3 wins, 2 draw and 3 defeats away.  While Fulham have conceded 18, scoring 10 at home, Wolverhampton have conceded 8 while scoring seven.   That makes it look like Wolverhampton could just edge this.

But Wolverhampton’s form of late is strange…  We can see a poor run of form across six games running up to 30 November with a defeat to struggling Cardiff, but then straight wins against Chelsea, Newcastle and Bournemouth.   The defeat at home to Liverpool was certaintly predictable however.

20 Oct 2018 Wolverhampton Wanderers v Watford L 0-2
27 Oct 2018 Brighton and Hove Albion v Wolverhampton Wanderers L 1-0
03 Nov 2018 Wolverhampton Wanderers v Tottenham Hotspur L 2-3
11 Nov 2018 Arsenal v Wolverhampton Wanderers D 1-1
25 Nov 2018 Wolverhampton Wanderers v Huddersfield Town L 0-2
30 Nov 2018 Cardiff City v Wolverhampton Wanderers L 2-1
05 Dec 2018 Wolverhampton Wanderers v Chelsea W 2-1
09 Dec 2018 Newcastle United v Wolverhampton Wanderers W 1-2
15 Dec 2018 Wolverhampton Wanderers v AFC Bournemouth W 2-0
21 Dec 2018 Wolverhampton Wanderers v Liverpool L 0-2

If however we take just the away games this is what we see…

27 Oct 2018 Brighton and Hove Albion v Wolverhampton Wanderers L 1-0
11 Nov 2018 Arsenal v Wolverhampton Wanderers D 1-1
30 Nov 2018 Cardiff City v Wolverhampton Wanderers L 2-1
09 Dec 2018 Newcastle United v Wolverhampton Wanderers W 1-2

One win in four, and that against a Newcastle team that doesn’t seem to know where it is going.

These away defeats to Brighton and Cardiff must give Fulham some hope of them coming away with a draw.

Fulham have not won in the last five so a win might be too much to ask but a 1-1- draw is possible if they can avoid the 1-2 defeat that seems more likely.

Fulham v West Ham United: the match predictions

Predicting the result and score of Fulham v West Ham

The leage table spells out bad news for Fulham and indeed for Southampton this weekend.   We’ll come to Southampton shortly but for now looking at Fulham we can see they have only two wins thus far this season with two wins three draws and 11 defeats.    Their goal difference is shocking at 16 for and 40 against.  By far the worst in the League

Pos Club P W D L F A GD Pts
15 Newcastle United 16 3 4 9 13 22 -9 13
16 Crystal Palace 16 3 3 10 13 23 -10 12
17 Burnley 16 3 3 10 15 32 -17 12
18 Huddersfield T 16 2 4 10 10 27 -17 10
19 Southampton 16 1 6 9 13 30 -17 9
20 Fulham 16 2 3 11 16 40 -24 9

Looing just at home games however Fulham are far from being the worst club in the league

14 Wolverhampton 8 3 2 3 10 11 -1 11
15 Fulham 7 2 2 3 10 16 -6 8
16 Burnley 8 2 1 5 9 15 -6 7
17 Newcastle United 9 2 0 7 7 15 -8 6
18 Southampton 7 0 5 2 6 10 -4 5
19 Crystal Palace 7 1 2 4 4 8 -4 5
20 Huddersfield T 8 1 2 5 3 10 -7 5

Both of Fulham’s league victories have come at home – and they have two draws as well out of the three they have secured.  In other words their home form is low to middling, and they have a new manager which usually results in some sort of “new manager bounce” in terms of results.

Now for the table based on away form

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Tottenham H 10 8 0 2 19 10 9 24
2 Liverpool 9 7 2 0 19 5 14 23
3 Manchester City 8 5 2 1 15 4 11 17
4 Arsenal 7 4 2 1 18 12 6 14
5 Chelsea 7 4 1 2 14 6 8 13
6 Manchester Utd 8 3 2 3 14 15 -1 11
7 Leicester City 8 3 2 3 11 12 -1 11
8 Wolverhampton 8 3 2 3 7 8 -1 11
9 Bournemouth 7 3 0 4 11 12 -1 9
10 Watford 8 2 3 3 9 10 -1 9
11 West Ham Utd 7 2 2 3 9 11 -2 8

West Ham away have two wins and two draws, just as Fulham at home have.  The goal difference however is in West Ham’s favour – they have -2 GD while Fulham are at -6, some of which is down to the hammering Fulham took at home from Arsenal.

Here are the last five Fulham home games (all games are Premier League matches)

22 Sep 2018 Fulham v Watford D 1-1
07 Oct 2018 Fulham v Arsenal L 1-5
27 Oct 2018 Fulham v AFC Bournemouth L 0-3
24 Nov 2018 Fulham v Southampton W 3-2
05 Dec 2018 Fulham v Leicester City D 1-1

There is a real improvement in the last two games (although one might argue it would have been hard for it to get any worse) – and this in part is caused by a certain stability in the team.

West Ham away have looked more solid than one might have expected

16 Sep 2018 Everton v West Ham United W 1-3
05 Oct 2018 Brighton and Hove v West Ham Utd L 1-0
27 Oct 2018 Leicester City v West Ham United D 1-1
10 Nov 2018 Huddersfield Town v West Ham Utd D 1-1
01 Dec 2018 Newcastle United v West Ham Utd W 0-3

Curiously then if we look at recent results we could argue that both sides have a slight run of form – although this is stretching the use of the word “run”.

At home Fulham overall get scores akin to 1-2 while West Ham away get 1-1.  Fulham unbeaten in two at home and West Ham unbeaten in three away suggests a draw, as does the fact that out of those last five games (two home for Fulham and three away for West Ham) three have been draws.

I’ll go for 1-1.