West Ham boss Avram Grant insists that revenge is not on his mind as his side host their Carling Cup semi-final conquerors Birmingham in another high-stakes match, in which the winners will escape the relegation zone…
The Irons haven’t won successive league games in almost a year but have to be fancied at 11/10 for several reasons, the most prominent being that they have won three and drawn one of their last four home games against Birmingham, including the first leg of their cup clash.
As the table stood at the start of the weekend, West Ham hadn’t lost any of their last dozen encounters against fellow bottom-half clubs since falling 3-0 away to Aston Villa on the opening day – whereas Birmingham haven’t beaten anyone below 13th-placed Blackpool.
Alex McLeish’s side have also managed only one victory at the home of a Premier League team all season and even that came against the least successful hosts, Blackpool. If you fancy that to change, the visitors are 5/2 to triumph, while the draw is 23/10.
Each of the previous three collisions between the duo in 2010-11 have featured at least three goals with both clubs getting on the scoresheet so over 2.5 goals is hugely appealing at 1/1, while both teams to score is also worthy of serious consideration at 8/11.
Three of West Ham’s five wins have come by a 3-1 margin and that outcome is 18/1. Robbie Keane is 9/2 favourite to score first against a side that contemplated signing him, while Liam Ridgewell is a tempting 8/1 to score against his old employers for the third time this season.
A £25 stake on the Birmingham centre back scoring would provide a £200 profit. New customers can sign up here for a free £25 bet.