Hammers singing Carrolls in September
West Ham v Fulham
12:45 - live on Sky Sports
I must have sat down ten times to write this betting preview for Fulham's trip across London to take on newly promoted West Ham, but every time my fingers hit the key I am distracted by the Sky Sports News yellow banner flashing up the latest high-profile signing on this the busiest day for football managers, players and agents alike, the Transfer Deadline Day.
West Ham have finally landed Andy Carroll while Fulham will arrive at Upton Park without the departed Mousa Dembele and potentially missing want-away midfielder Clint Dempsey (re-read this at 11PM!). Basically, the next eight hours could render this article irrelevant, incorrect and outdated......you might as well read on though you're already one and three quarter paragraphs in.
Here it goes.
West Ham host London rivals Fulham in Saturday's lunchtime kick-off looking to compound the Cottagers disappointing week. Fulham, 9/5 in the match betting, suffered a 3-2 defeat (3-2 West Ham 28/1) at Old Trafford on Saturday before being completely outplayed by Championship high flyers Sheffield Wednesday in the League Cup, eventually succumbing to a 1-0 defeat (1-0 West Ham 15/2).
The Hammers' chances of staying up this season rest on their ability to win home games of this manner and they are 6/4 favourites to do so here. A 2-0 midweek, League Cup victory over Crewe will have gone some way to restoring confidence at the club after a poor 3-0 defeat away at Swansea last week (3-0 Fulham 28/1) but a victory here would really get the fans back on side.
Sam Allardyce is expected to hand a debut to the aforementioned Andy Carroll with the former Newcastle star 11/2 to notch the opener and 6/4 to score anytime on his Boleyn Ground bow. Lining up alongside Carlton Cole (7/1 first scorer), Carroll will now be part of possibly the tallest attacking partnerships in Premier League history, so obviously will be a threat from set-pieces.
Back to the Sky Sports News flashing banner, it appears that Dimitar Berbatov has signed for Fulham and the West London club have bid for Michel Bastos of Lyon and Brazil, now if they can get the paperwork completed in time these two could change the complexion of this tie.
Fulham's only win at Upton Park in the Premier League was back in 2001-02 season - when they ran out 2-0 winners. They will Possibly start with Berbatov upfront alongside Mladen Petric, who played under Martin Jol when the pair were at Hamburg, has scored 12 goals in 44 international games for Croatia. Petric can be backed at 11/2 to open the scoring and 6/4 anytime.
With neither side renowned for their defensive prowess, the both teams to score market could prove profitable. Priced at 4/6, both teams to score could be the bet but if there are goals, 1-1, 2-2 and 3-3 draws could also provide value priced at 6/1, 14/1 and 66/1 respectively.
With two goals from two games, Irish winger Damien Duff has already matched his Premier League goals total for last season (when he made 23 starts) and is highlighted as Fulham's Enhanced Anytime Wincast player. The Irishman can be backed at 8/1 to notch in a win for the visitors.
West Ham's Enhanced Anytime Wincast star is their influential midfielder Kevin Nolan. His goal against Villa on the opening day of the season gave the Hammers an early win and he's priced at 6/1 to find the back of the net again in another West Ham win.