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Rupert Wyman 24th Dec 2010 - 10:24

Hammers away day woes to continue

We have a London derby for you at lunchtime on Boxing Day and it sees two under-pressure managers looking for some much needed Christmas cheer.

Fulham are 19/20 for a home win, the draw is 11/5 and it's 16/5 that West Ham ease the pressure on their under fire boss.

Both sides find themselves in a relegation battle and if they have a bad Christmas period they could be on their way to the Championship next season.  Of the two sides it's West Ham who have the toughest task to survive, they're 4/9 for the drop as they find themselves 3-points adrift at the bottom of the table.

Only one side in the last eighteen seasons who has been bottom of the table at Christmas has survived. That doesn't bode well for the Hammers.

Fulham on the other hand but are expected to survive, they're 11/4 to go down. They will need to avoid a defeat in this match or their price for the drop will tumble.

They will need to improve on their recent form, they've not won since their 2-0 home win over Wigan back in October. They've not played for two weeks though, it will be interesting to see how they react to that long break. If they do lose here the pressure will mount on Mark Hughes, he's 20/1 to be the next boss out. There has been talk that Martin Jol could be in line to take over.

With the Midday kick-off any player who over did the festive celebrations could be prone to mistakes. That makes the 14/1 that this game has the most goals of any Premier League game on Sunday look an interesting bet. Fulham are 10/1 to score the quickest goal of the day, West Ham 16/1.

West Ham have not won in their last 27 Premier League away games, which is a terrible record for any Premier League team.  I don't expect that to change in this one and that could mean curtains for Avram Grant as the West Ham board look for a change. He is 8/15 to be the next manager to go.

Fulham won this fixture last season 3-2 and I expect another high-scoring encounter, it's 100/30 for over 3.5 goals and I think that looks the bet of the match. If you fancy a repeat of that 3-2 scoreline it a massive 33/1.

Looking at the OPTA Stats one thing that stands out is the fact that there have been seven red cards in the last 13 Premier League meetings between West Ham and Fulham. With the added spice of a relegation dogfight this year I think there could be more cards on show this time around.

It's 5/1 that there is a red card in the match, on the basis of recent history that bet is worth consideration. With possible slippery conditions and the early kick-off which could catch players off-guard the 13/2 that there is a card in the first 15 minutes also looks worthwhile.

Clint Dempsey scored two when Fulham last won a game and he will be the main threat again, he's 5/1 to score first and 6/1 to bag another brace.

Overall, I think home advantage will be the key factor in this. I think Fulham will win but would be looking for a bigger price than the 90 minute market. Therefore I would go for Fulham to be winning at half-time and full time at 2/1. Over 3.5 goals at 10/3 and a red card to be shown at 5/1.

The game kicks-off at Midday on Boxing Day and is live on Sky Sports 1. Bet in-play from kick-off at William Hill.

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