Fulham face West Brom at Craven Cottage on Saturday, with both teams languishing at the wrong end of the table.
West Brom are yet to score a goal or win a game in the Premier League this season, with their only point coming in a 0-0 draw with Everton at Goodison Park. Fulham, on the other hand, started the season well with an opening day win away at Sunderland, but have gone on to lose their last two games at home to Arsenal and away at Newcastle.
Martin Jol and Steve Clarke were both busy during the transfer window, with both managers bringing in nine new faces.
Both teams bolstered their attacking options with Darren Bent and Adel Taraabt (loan) joining the Fulham ranks and Victor Anichebe, Stephane Sessegnon, Nicolas Anelka, Matej Vydra and Scott Sinclair (loan) all joining West Brom.
West Brom are in desperate need of a goalscorer after the departures of Peter Odemwingie, Marc-Antoine Fortune and Romelu Lukaku. These three players scored 24 Premier League goals between them last season, with Lukaku netting 17 of them, and it was of high importance that Steve Clarke signed goalscorers to replace them.
Fulham have won just 2 of their last 11 Premier League games picking up just 7 points in that period, while West Brom are without a win in their last 7 Premier League games since beating Southampton 3-0 in April.
However, Fulham are unbeaten in their last 5 Premier League games against West Brom, winning 3 and drawing 2, with West Brom failing to win in any of their 7 trips to Craven Cottage in the Premier League.
West Brom’s only point at Craven Cottage came in a 1-1 draw during the 2011/2012 season, while West Brom did manage a 3-2 away win at Fulham in the League Cup in 2005 after extra time.
Aaron Hughes (Groin), Pajtim Kasami (Knock) and Maartin Stekelenburg (Shoulder) should all return to face West Brom, while Kieran Richardson will miss the game with a hamstring injury.
James Morrison will have a late fitness test on his groin strain, while Matej Vydra will miss the game with a hamstring injury. Steven Reid has returned to training but this game has come too soon for him, while new signigns Victor Anichebe, Stephane Sessegnon and Morgan Amalfitano will all be hoping to make their West Brom debuts.
Ben Foster and Zoltan Gera are long term absentees.
- West Brom have not won a league game away at Fulham since 1967.
- West Brom have only scored 2 goals in their 7 Premier League games at Craven Cottage and are yet to score this season.
- Fulham have scored 15 goals in their last 5 home games with West Brom.
- 11 of Dimitar Berbatov’s 15 goals came in the first half last season.
- Fulham were the only team not to win a match after conceding the first goal of the game last season (Drew 4 Lost 14).
- West Brom won 5 of the 7 away games that they took the lead in last season.
Dimitar Berbatov was Fulham’s top goalscorer in the Premier League last season notching 15 goals; 10 more than any other Fulham player.
The Bulgarian hit the target with 54% of his 65 shots last season, having a shot on target every 81 minutes as well as converting an impressive 23% of his chances.
Berbatov also scored a goal every 190 minutes and created more open play chances (44) than any other Fulham player last season.
Fulham fans will be hoping that Berbatov can replicate his form in front of goal this season and form a good partnership with new signing Darren Bent, who was signed to share the burden of scoring Fulham’s goals this season.
If Berbatov can fire again this season and Darren Bent can get back to scoring goals, then Fulham will have one of the deadlier strike forces in the Premier League this season.
Stephane Sessegnon scored 7 goals for Sunderland last season, playing the majority of the season just behind the striker or on the right wing.
West Brom lacked goals from midfield last season, with James Morrison being their top goalscorer from midfield with 5 goals, relying on their strikers to score 30 of their 50 goals (Not including own goals) last season.
Sessegnon is the type of player West Brom missed last season, as he can play up front, just behind the striker and wide midfield, and score goals from any of those positions.
The former Sunderland player scored a goal every 414 minutes and converted 16% of his chances. Sessegnon had a shot every 64 minutes, with 49% of these shots being on target.
Stephane Sessegnon also created a chance every 73 minutes last season and made 3 assists, with 2 being from open play. However, Sessegnon only created 4 clear cut chances last season, which is something he will need to improve on.
If Sessegnon can score goals and create chances for West Brom this season, then the former Sunderland player will be an important signing for the Baggies, but only time will tell if he can recapture his form from his early Sunderland days.
Both teams have had a poor start to the season and will be looking to win this game to try and push on. West Brom have a very poor record against Fulham and it will take a little time for all of their new attacking players to gel.
Prediction: Home Win (Just)
Fulham are 2.1 to win with Pinnacle Sports, while you can get the draw at 3.55 and a West Brom win at 3.78.
Also check out Pinnacle for great odds on all of the Premier League matches this weekend.