West Ham United v Stoke City: Can Moyes Boys Put Another Nail In Potters’ Coffin?
With the destiny of the Premier League title virtually sealed despite Manchester City’s second-half capitulation against Manchester United last weekend, our focus turns towards the bottom half of the league standings as West Ham host Stoke on Monday night – kick-off: 20:00.
The Hammers currently sit in fourteenth place in the Premier League standings, but if results conspire against them over the weekend, David Moyes’ team could potentially be sitting fourth from bottom by kick-off time. By contrast, Stoke are languishing in the relegation spots and are desperately in need of points. Mark Hughes left the club earlier in the season to be replaced by Paul Lambert, but results have not improved with the change of manager.
West Ham’s last home outing ended in a comfortable 3-0 win against fellow strugglers, Southampton and a spirited 1-1 away point against Chelsea has given the Irons a small cushion ahead of their rivals. Stoke have picked up just four league points from a possible 36 and their last win was a 2-0 home victory over Huddersfield in January.
This contest has huge implications at the foot of the Premier League table – not just for the two teams involved. A West Ham win will virtually guarantee survival for next season and it would be likely to condemn Stoke, while an away win for the Potters will give them real hope of escaping the drop and drag others into the dogfight.
The early betting for this contest sees West Ham as the comfortable favourites to claim all three points and take a step closer to maintaining their league status. The Hammers are a top price of 11/10 with Black Type to win this game, with many other bookmakers offering just even money, or odds-on prices.
A London Stadium stalemate is narrowly preferred as the second option in the Match Odds market at the best industry odds of 63/25 with MarathonBet, while a first victory in ten Premier League outings for Stoke can be taken at the most rewarding odds of 63/20 – again with MarathonBet.
The very early team news suggests that West Ham are likely to welcome back powerful striker, Andy Carroll to their matchday squad. This boost could prove pivotal for the Hammers, not just in this game but in the remaining fixtures this season. Stoke are in an awful run of form and cannot be backed with any confidence in this game, even considering their desperate need for points. The Hammers should have more than enough to win this game on home soil in my view and pull clear of the drop.
Individual Goal Scorers
As expected, the majority of West Ham’s forward-thinking players are at the head of the First Goalscorer betting for this game. Mexican striker, Chicharito and Austrian forward, Marko Arnautoviic are co-favourites at 9/2 with Boylesports to open the scoring.
Stoke’s first interest within this market is with Mame Biram Diouf, who is a 15/2 chance – again with Boylesports.
The player who catches my eye for this game is Argentinian, Manuel Lanzini at the tempting odds of 15/2 yet again with Boylesports – if he is fit to play. Lanzini is a key component in the West Ham attack, and the skilful midfield player can unlock the Stoke rearguard.
At bigger prices, Xherdan Shaqiri is a talented individual but has seldom shown his true ability for Stoke this season. His team needs him now and the 17/2 on offer with Black Type to open the scoring may interest some punters.
Set-pieces could be a useful attacking weapon for both teams in this contest, so West Ham’s James Collins and Stoke City’s Ryan Shawcross are players to note in the air at 35/1 to open the scoring – both with 188BET.
Other Side Bets
Our view for this game is for West Ham to dictate the match from the outset and reach the interval with a lead. With that in mind, a West Ham double result to be leading the game at half-time and full-time can be had with Ladbrokes and Coral at 12/5. This is a market where the price is shortening with most bookmakers, so if you wish to get on this selection, my advice is to be quick.
An alternative to this bet is to select a West Ham win and Both Teams to Score. Ladbrokes and Coral are again at the front of the queue for best prices again for this bet along with 888Sport who all offer 17/5. My slight concern would be Stoke finding the net with just two goals from their last five away games but we will run with it.
Our Correct Score offering for this game is a 3-1 win for the Hammers. Bet365 have priced this bet up at the tasty odds of 18/1 in line with our predictions of a comfortable West Ham victory.