England star makes West Ham bankers to be top promoted club
On-loan Andy Carroll will be key to a successful season for the Hammers
West Ham have begun life back in the Premier League in very acceptable fashion, with an eighth-place standing the result of their labours thus far.
As such, it is no surprise to see the Hammers as strong 4/11 favourites to finish highest of the three promoted clubs this term.
Sam Allardyce invested wisely this summer, spending little on transfer fees yet bringing in vastly experienced players such as Jussi Jaaskelainen, and the highly-rated Mohamed Diame as free agents.
But perhaps his shrewdest move was securing the services of Andy Carroll, who joined the Hammers on a season-long loan deal from Liverpool, after an impressive Euro 2012 campaign with England.
So far, his playing time has been severely limited due to injury, but he has made an eye-catching start to his Upton Park career nonetheless.
And with Allardyce’s direct approach perfectly suited to Carroll’s playing style, the powerful striker’s return to full fitness can only bode well for the Hammers.
It is worth noting that having spent less than half the amount of time on the pitch as Carlton Cole has this season, Carroll has created nine chances to Cole’s two.
He has also won a greater percentage of aerial duels and kept possession better too, indicating that further West Ham improvement is imminent as Carroll’s prominence in the side grows.
Meanwhile, the manner that the other newly-promoted sides have started the season in also bodes well for punters backing the Hammers to be the top promoted club.
4/1 Southampton have won acclaim for the nature of their performances, but they have just one win and a four-point total to show for seven games’ toil so far.
Whilst they have arguably faced the most difficult fixtures to date, Nigel Adkins would have hoped to have accrued a better points tally at this stage of the season.
As would Brian McDermott of Reading, whose side’s inability to hold on to a lead hinders their 9/2 hopes of finishing highest of the three promoted clubs.
The Royals have yet to win a match in six attempts this season, and it is difficult to envisage them catching a Carroll-inspired West Ham by the season’s end.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.