First scorer price boost favours Hammers striker over City man

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West Ham bid to do a Sunderland in their Capital One Cup semi final with Manchester City, as they look to upset the odds like the Black Cats did in their shock 2-1 win over Manchester United in the other half of the draw.

A match betting market that pits the east London outfit as 16/1 shots to win the game indicate the mountainous task at hand for Sam Allardyce’s beaten-up squad. The draw is priced at 13/2 while the hosts are strong 1/6 favourites.

With little value hidden amongst those odds, especially considering the Hammers haven’t won in the blue half of Manchester in seven visits, it’s extremely handy that Ladbrokes have boosted the price on a player from either side to score first.

Samir Nasri gets the treatment for City, with his odds to be the first to ripple the net out from 8/1 to 9s, while Carlton Cole’s price gets an inflated puff good enough to swell his 12/1 all the way out to 16s.

With the Citizens’ love of a goal at home well documented, the temptation is to take the ex-Arsenal Frenchman’s boosted odds.

However, Manuel Pellegrini’s preference for a slight rotation of his staff in this particular competition means that Nasri isn’t a guaranteed starter.
In fact the midfielder is yet to make a Capital One Cup appearance this season, although his one start in the past three games in all competitions makes his case a touch stronger.

Cole, on the other hand, has made two of his five starts in this competition since rejoining the Irons, scoring the first goal of the game once in that time.

West Ham’s record of scoring the first goal of the game in three of their league cup matches so far this season weighs heavily in Cole’s favour at the Etihad too.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.