After losing five of their opening seven Premier League games, West Ham’s season looked doomed before it had begun. A recent fightback points to a brighter future, yet Slaven Bilic’s charges still seem overpriced for a top-10 finish.
The bookies make it 9/5 that Dimitri Payet and co to finish in the top half, and after their dismal start to the year, that may have been a bet best avoided.
But with seven points from their last three fixtures, and just as crucially, only one goal conceded, the east London outfit sit just two points off the top-10.
It’s perfectly within reason then, to imagine that the Irons can quite easily lift themselves into the top half.
And further inspiration can be found on the other side of the Thames.
Crystal Palace lost nine of their ten opening games two seasons ago, yet were 11th by the end of the campaign, just four points off the top-10.
Only a failure to win their final three games denied them a spot in the upper half.
Factor in too, that Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho are soon to return, while Andre Ayew will be relishing the chance to make up for lost time after his expected comeback in December or January.
A fully fit Hammers squad should be a much stronger force in the second half of the season, and now they’re already in the mid-table fight, a look at the top-half is more than acceptable.
Tonight they’ll look to book a spot in the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup.
Hosting Chelsea, the bookies making Bilic’s men 7/2 to continue their recent upswing in form and win in 90 minutes.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing