After losing out to Swansea in the race for Wilfried Bony, Sam Allardyce will expect a similar contribution to last year’s ten goals from Kevin Nolan and the 31-year old is the pick at 11/4 to be West Ham United’s top goalscorer for the second successive season.
Dead ball specialist Mark Noble is an interesting outsider at 8/1 in this market, but the former England under-21 Captain has never managed more than five strikes in a Premier League season and will be relied upon to drop deep in midfield when Nolan charges forward.
Nolan’s friend and former Newcastle colleague Andy Carroll is the market leader at 4/6 and while the combative striker was unlucky with injuries during last season’s loan spell from Liverpool he still only managed seven goals in 23 appearances and cannot be relied on to stay fit and in form.
Carroll has struggled to score regularly since leaving Newcastle for the Reds in 2011, whereas his Captain has managed to get into double figures in each of his last four league campaigns and will again be influential as the Hammers try to put a frustrating summer behind them.
Young English forward Daniel Whitehead and fantastically named Romanian left-back Razvan Rat are the only new faces so far at Upton Park and Allardyce will be hoping for a few more signings if they are to replicate the form that saw them win the most games at home of any team outside the top six last season.
Away from Upton Park they were the lowest goalscorers in the league in 2012/2013 and will have to attempt a more expansive brand of football if they are to improve on last year’s creditable 10th place finish. They can be backed at 7/4 to break into the top half again.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date