West Ham striker Andy Carroll has made a big impact for Sam Allardyce’s team this season, but has yet to make his mark on the scoresheet since joining on loan from Liverpool.
Carroll has fired a blank in seven appearances for the Hammers so far this term, but can be backed at 6/5 to strike anytime against Stoke.
In fact, you have to hark back to June for the burly forward’s last goal in a competitive match, a thunderous header to open the scoring for England against Sweden in the Euro 2012 group stage.
With Carroll now fully fit after suffering a hamstring injury on his West Ham debut, he may well break the deadlock in this outing and is priced at 5/1 to do so.
That debut was arguably the 23-year-old’s finest hour in claret and blue colours, as his showing against Fulham in early September lasted just 68 minutes.
The immediacy of Carroll’s importance to his new side was highlighted in the the very first minute when he won a header that played in Ricardo Vaz Tê to set up Kevin Nolan and make it 1-0 West Ham.
Finally a team was playing to the powerful striker’s strengths – of which strength is arguably his biggest asset – and West Ham looked like they had pulled off a coup d’état by securing his signature.
Carroll also assisted Matty Taylor that day and was a constant thorn in the Fulham backline, often drawing away numerous defenders to make space for others.
The England striker was out of action for a month after that game, and is yet to hit those giddy heights since, but Carroll could well get back amongst the goals against Stoke.
The former Newcastle front-man came off the bench for the Toon in 2009 to secure a draw against the Potters, and could be the last goalscorer this time again at 5/1.
If you fancy Carroll to net in a Hammers win then odds of 2/1 are likely to tempt a flutter, whilst Carroll to score and West Ham to win with 3 or more goals in the match is an enticing 5/1.
And those that really do believe the Gateshead-born forward will find his shooting boots against Stoke can have odds of 40/1 for a Carroll hat-trick, which would be only the second of his career.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.