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Match Preview: West Ham vs Fulham

London teams kick off in Austria

Burnley v West Ham United - Premier League Photo by Mark Robinson/Getty Images

West Ham United’s preseason continues today with a match against fellow London team Fulham FC. After a draw against Sturm-Graz II the Hammers will look to rebound with a better performance against the Cottagers.

Opposition preview

Fulham will be playing in the Championship again this season after a heartbreaking loss to Reading in the playoff semi final last season. Fulham finished 6th last season edging out Leeds United for the final playoff spot.

Fulham feature a team with young talent including U19 England international Ryan Sessegnon. The young defender was a key player in the U19’s UEFA European Championships winning team. His performance with Fulham and his play this summer have attracted interest from a number of Premier League clubs including Liverpool, Manchester United, and Tottenham.

Fulham v Tottenham Hotspur - The Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

Young Scotland midfielder Tom Cairney is also a part of the Cottagers promising squad. Scoring 20 goals for the team in two seasons has attracted interest from Newcastle but it seems the Scot is going to stay with Fulham and push for promotion.

United States fans will recognize Tim Ream. The American defender has been with Fulham for two seasons and has been capped for the USA 25 times.

Fulham should once again be in the promotion picture from the Championship. They’d be a welcome addition to the Premier League if the achieve that.

West Ham preview

The Hammers will look to improve upon the 0-0 draw with Sturm-Graz II a disappointing result despite some bright play.

This is an important game for the youth players that have been called to Austria for training. Nathan Holland impressed against Sturm and will look to put his name in the first team window. Domingas Quina, Delcan Rice, Toni Martinez, Ashley Fletcher, and company will look to show Slaven Billic they deserve to be with the first team this season.

West Ham United Training and Press Conference Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images

Most important for the Hammers is to keep their main players healthy. Expect to see a heavy dose of youth and squad players today. The second most important thing is to find their finishing touch. Andre Ayew missed a few chances as did Holland. Putting the ball in the net is what West Ham struggled with and getting goals is important for the team’s confidence. With both Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho out injured it will fall to Toni Martinez and Ashley Fletcher to lead the line for the Hammers. Can either one of them do enough to impress to keep them in the first team picture?

One thing to watch will be Joe Hart’s West Ham debut. The England keeper joined up this week and will get his first taste of action in claret and blue.

You’ll be able to catch a stream of the game here