West Ham V Fulham at Upton Park : Match Preview

01 September 2012 09:19
Allardyce Sam Allardyce feels Andy Carroll can make West Ham a real force in the Barclays Premier League this season, starting with Saturday's clash with Fulham.

England striker Carroll has agreed a season-long loan switch to Upton Park after finally accepting his chances at Liverpool would be limited. The 23-year-old, who cost the Reds £35million when he joined from Newcastle in January 2011, is in line for an immediate debut against the Cottagers.

"He was pleased to choose us with a number of other Premier League clubs interested," Hammers boss Allardyce told Sky Sports News.

"We've got a top-quality player and I'm delighted to have pulled it off. I first tried to sign him a long time ago and it did not look like it was going to happen, so I'm glad it has. "He's a huge player in this division who scores goals and contributes to build-up play, and has many different aspects to his game which can help us be a force in this league.

"In your first year in the Premier League it's all about who's going to score the goals and who's going to take your chances, and I think in Andy we've added a huge amount of goals to the team. "Hopefully we can give him the service and he can prove what a good goalscorer he is."

West Ham made a good start to the season with a home victory over Aston Villa but will be looking to bounce back from last weekend's 3-0 defeat at Swansea when they host the Cottagers. Allardyce will hand late fitness tests to defenders George McCartney, James Collins and Winston Reid, who all picked up knocks at the Liberty Stadium.

"If we get in amongst Fulham and don't allow them to keep the ball then we can impose our home advantage and our encouraging start to the season at Upton Park," he added. "We will try to expose the defensive side of Fulham which appeared to be exposed in the Capital One Cup defeat to Sheffield Wednesday in midweek."

New Fulham signing Kieran Richardson is looking forward to working under manager Martin Jol. The former Sunderland utility player has completed a move to Craven Cottage following a five-year spell with the Black Cats. Richardson, 27, has eight England caps and revealed he has been courted by Fulham boss Jol for some time and wants to fire the club back into European competition.

"I haven't worked with him (Jol) but he told me he has been tracking me for a while so you're always happy to play for a manger who always wants you,"

Richardson told fulhamfc.com "I just want to come here, score goals and create and just be as positive as I can for Fulham and I want to see Fulham get as high as they can in the table. "I want to get Fulham as high as possible and get back into Europe again and play good football."

West Ham V Fulham - view commentary, squad, and statictics of the game live.

Source: PA