West Ham to salvage pride by holding Manchester City to a draw

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Make no bones about it, this Capital One Cup semi-final second leg at Upton Park is deader than the proverbial dodo after Manchester City’s crushing 6-0 Etihad victory in the prelude to this match.

However, where Man City can afford to push back the recliner and dream of Wembley under the floodlights, the pressure on West Ham to appease their fans with a much-improved performance adds real attraction to the 4/1 about them holding the visitors to a draw.

Ending City’s 17-match unbeaten run looks a tall order for Sam Allardyce’s charges, at odds of 6/1, though the Irons boss is reportedly looking to field a strong team after embarrassment in Manchester.

Aiding Allardyce’s pride-salvaging cause is the return from suspension of skipper Kevin Nolan and central defender James Tomkins, while Andy Carroll’s road to recovery should see the England striker play some part.

West Ham’s £15m man is a 5/2 shot to find the City net at any point, while the likelihood that he comes off the bench once more, casts the 8/1 on Carroll striking last in a favourable light also.

Fulham transfer target Ravel Morrison should feature as well, after coming off the bench at half-time in the Hammers’ latest defeat at home to Newcastle just three days before.

Though Manuel Pellegrini is likely to rest many first-choice players, whatever side the Chilean fields will be hard to keep from finding the net – so both teams scoring at 8/13 looks a bread and butter bet.

From City’s extensive cast of candidates to find the net, why not plump for Alvaro Negredo at boosted odds of 7/2 out from 11/2 at Ladbrokes, while 5/1 on either a 1-1 or 2-2 final score makes sense if opting for a draw as the result.

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

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