West Ham v Swansea: Captain Nolan to benefit from Carroll’s return

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Fifth and sixth in the table go head-to-head in east London, with both sides keen to show their current assaults on the European places are far from a flash in the pan.

Both West Ham and Swansea come into this encounter off the back of victories, and a win here could put one side in the driving seat for the rest of the season.

The bookies favour the hosts slightly with it 11/8 for a Hammers win, 23/10 for a draw or 21/10 for the Swans to leave the capital with three points.

Ladbrokes News’ Ben Stones gives us his best bets for the encounter.

West Ham to win @ 11/8

While both teams are flying at the moment, a closer look needs to be given to their respective home and away form.

Sam Allardyce’s men have won four of their last five in front of their own fans, and are really given the east London faithful something to cheer about this season.

Swansea have also been saving their best for the confines of the Liberty Stadium, Garry Monks’s men losing four of their last six on the road, with the other two being goalless draws.

Add in that the hosts could have a full squad, with the likes of Diafra Sakho and Alex Song potentially returning from injury, and a home win looks nicely priced.

West Ham to win to nil @ 29/10

As mentioned, an Irons’ win looks the way to go, but for those punters wanting a little more bang for their buck, banking on Adrian keeping a clean sheet in a victory might be the one for you.

The Swans have only scored three goals in their last five games on the road (one of those a penalty), and are reliant heavily on Wilfried Bony.

West Ham meanwhile have kept three clean sheets in the last four matches at the Boleyn and with a 2-0 and 1-0 scoreline on both occasions Swansea have travelled to E13 in the last 30 years, this looks a nice bet.

Kevin Nolan to score anytime @ 29/10

Andy Carroll’s presence in the match that he saw red in last season might take the headlines, but the real beneficiary of his place in the team might be the Hammers number four.

It has been well noted about how well the ex-Newcastle pair work together, Nolan getting on the end of many a knock-down from the big frontman.

When Carroll attempted a spectacular overhead kick against West Brom the West Ham skipper was there to get onto the rebound, and is just the man to be in the right place at the right time.

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

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.