Bubble Blowing Galore For The HammersStats
West Ham v Liverpool
Inconsistent Liverpool are no longer an attractive proposition at odds-on prices, how will they fair out at Upton Park on Saturday?
Towards the back end of last season, despite securing the club’s Premier League status, Sam Allardyce came under heavy scrutiny from the West Ham fans about the way that his side played the game. After the board decided to stand by their man in the summer, Allardyce vowed to change the way that his team play and introduce a more aesthetically pleasing style.
And it seems, at least so far, that he has been true to his word.
The Hammers have scored six goals in four Premier League games – also conceding seven – and have played some – at least compared to last season – attractive football.
Enner Valencia and a rejuvenated Stewart Downing make for a potent and direct attacking threat, while the class of Mauro Zarate gives the side a different dimension.
On the flip side, West Ham are yet to pick up a home point this season and were eliminated from the Capital One Cup by Sheffield United at Upton Park last month. The message to West Ham fans, I guess, is to be careful what you wish for.
Liverpool’s season to date has been very up and down. Wins against Southampton and Tottenham were impressive, but defeats against Manchester City and Aston Villa were disappointing in an equal measure. The fortunate midweek victory over Ludogorets also served to further highlight that it will take time for the many summer signings to gel and produce the goods on a consistent basis.
Mario Balotelli did open his account for the club on Tuesday and that should help him settle down. Raheem Sterling has two for the season, as does captain Steven Gerrard although both his goals came from the penalty spot.
Andy Carroll, Matt Jarvis and Kevin Nolan are all unavailable for the Hammers due to injury. Joey O’Brien also missed Monday’s game against Hull and is doubtful for this one.
Joe Allen has missed Liverpool’s last two games due to a knee injury sustained when on international duty, while Glen Johnson and Daniel Sturridge remain sidelined but Martin Skrtel is expected to return.
Liverpool won both meetings between the two teams last season and are unbeaten against the Hammers in the past two seasons. The Reds have in fact won seven and drawn one of the last nine head-to-head clashes. Steven Gerrard scored two penalties in this fixture last season.
At the moment I’m extremely reluctant get involved with Liverpool at odds on prices, and so for me they have to be opposed at the 3/4 currently being offered. Although they do look good when things click into place – as they did against Spurs – there are too many understandable inconsistencies in their play just now. West Ham-Draw at odds of 23/20 in the Double Chance market looks to be the value play for me here.
I also like the look of the 7/4 about there being more than 3.5 goals in a game involving two sides with plenty of attacking talent and intent, likewise the 7/10 available on both teams finding the back of the net.