Demba Ba to put bite back into West Ham’s toothless attack

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West Ham’s stuttering attack failed to register yet again at the weekend and manager Sam Allardyce is now sure to make moves in the January transfer window.

The goalless draw with Aston Villa was the sixth time in 10 games this season that the Upton Park outfit have failed to score and with Andy Carroll still weeks away from a return to training – yet alone full fitness – Big Sam is desperate for reinforcements.

Such is the predicament in east London that the Hammers find themselves priced as 19/10 outsiders for their next game against Norwich – a side that has shipped 11 goals and scored none in its last two fixtures.

The struggle for goals can be attributed to the manager’s failure to land his preferred loan targets in the summer – a situation that means Carlton Cole and Mladen Petric are the only recognised strikers available.

When you figure that the latter was deemed surplus to requirements at London rivals Fulham and the former was shown the exit door at the Boleyn Ground before a somewhat embarrassing U-turn – there is little cause for optimism among Irons fans.

One of the strikers that Allardyce had in his sights last summer was Chelsea’s Demba Ba and the former Newcastle and Bolton manager looks set to step up his efforts in the winter window.

The Senegal front man is yet to open his account for the season but this is largely down to a lack of appearances. Behind Fernando Torres and Samuel Eto’o in the Stamford Bridge pecking order, Ba has featured in just five matches for a combined total of only 232 minutes this term.

However, Allardyce will hope that a run of games on the opposite side of the capital will help the hitman recapture the form that saw him bag 36 goals in 83 games leading up to this campaign and seven in 12 during his brief first spell at the club.

Allardyce has said that he will resist the temptation to make a bid if Cole and Petric can come good over the coming weeks – so expect contact with Chelsea to be made at 00:01 on New Year’s Day!

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

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