‘Battle of the basement’ seems to be a line used a lot recently when talking about games. Certainly with both sides in poor form and currently in the relegation zone I think this one in particular fits the bill.
West Ham United travels across London to Fulham having not won in their last six League games. In fact just two points from the possible 18 and the continued absence of Andy Carroll has meant that West Ham has only three wins on the season so far. The last of those victories, though, was at home against Wednesday’s opponents when the Hammers ran out 3-0 winners.
Martin Jol was still in charge of Fulham back then, and obviously things have changed since. Rene Meulensteen has had his side beating certain teams around them as they defeated Villa 2-0 at the Cottage and Norwich at Carrow Road on Boxing Day. The last result, though, was a morale destroying 6-0 defeat away to mid table Hull City.
It will be interesting to see how Meulensteen gets his side back up for this game after that defeat. Depending on results other places a win could see either side propel themselves up to 15th. That shows you exactly how tight the bottom is right now, but it will not be that way for long. Right now a win can put you out of the zone and a defeat can put you in it. You don’t want to be there when that’s no longer the case.
Jason Bardwell is a Soccer writer for Rant Sport. You can follow him on Twitter @PACityboy or on www.facebook.com/jasonbardwell1979.