Will this be the weekend Kevin Nolan finally gets his 100th goal?

Kevin Nolan

Only 24 players have ever scored 100 goals or more in Premier League history and West Ham United skipper Kevin Nolan is desperate to be number 25.

The Hammers face Queens Park Rangers in what is a crucial match for both sides, for different reasons. QPR are fighting to save themselves, the Hammers may be fighting to save their manager.

But the East Londoners have been short on goals of late and the man they can usually depend on, Kevin Nolan, has had his worst goalscoring season for seven years. In fact Nolan hasn't found the back of the net since a 2-1 victory at West Brom on December 2nd last year.

His uncharacteristic profligacy has not helped his reputation amongst a section of West Ham's restless fans who cruelly label him 'Sam Allardyce's son'.

He is appreciated by many Hammers supporters, though, not only for the vital goals he has scored since dropping down to the Championship to join the club in 2011 but also the way he has conducted himself through the good times and the bad.

They will all be cheering his name on Saturday, though, if the former Bolton and Newcastle midfielder can finally make it into that very exclusive club.

Should Nolan finally get his 100th Premier League goal against Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road on Saturday, he will join a list of greats to have reached the milestone including Alan Shearer, Thierry Henry, Steven Gerrard and Didier Drogba.

He will also feature alongside a number of ex-West Ham players on the list like Ian Wright, Jermaine Defoe, Teddy Sheringham, Les Ferdinand, Robbie Keane and Frank Lampard.

If Nolan was honest with himself, he would have expected to have reached the landmark by now. Speaking to the Mail Online back in December, the 32-year-old revealed how much it meant to him to become number 25 on the list equal with Southampton legend Matt Le Tissier.

"I want to get it put to bed and hopefully the next chance that comes along I can stick it in the back of the net and we can all celebrate it," Nolan said.

"I didn't get a chance to celebrate (his last goal at West Brom) because Cheik (Kouyate) was straight on my back! But listen, it's a fantastic achievement for myself and I'm delighted to be there but the 100th goal has eluded me so I'm hoping to put it to bed pretty soon."

Four months on the Liverpudlian, who has not played as many games as he is accustomed to this season, is still waiting and he recently told the club's website it is starting to get to him.

"I’m hoping that the next chance goes in," he said.

"It’s starting to become a bit of a burden as people are starting to mention it a bit more. I’ve just got to keep working hard and hopefully something will fall for me. Hopefully one will go in off my backside or something!”

Come kick-off on Saturday he will be hoping to finally lay the ghost to rest in a London derby that could also help determine the future of his footballing 'dad' Big Sam.

Interestingly, when Nolan does make it into the Premier League's 100 club, he will be the only player on the 25 man list never to have been called up by his respective country. Perhaps if Big Sam had got the England job that would all be different now.

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