West Ham v Fulham: Carlton Cole nailed on to score first

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There hasn’t been a home victory at Upton Park since Cardiff visited West Ham on the opening day of the season, so the visit of perennial London derby strugglers Fulham should provide some rare relief from the pain.

On the road, Fulham have a frightful record against their capital city brethren, winning just six of their last 56 London-based away days.
It’s therefore easy to see why a team experiencing such sorrow at their own ground would be priced as the 19/20 favourites for the win, with Fulham a 3/1 shot and the draw given odds of 12/5. The fact that the Hammers are undefeated in eight straight league tussles with the west London side at the Boleyn further weighs in West Ham’s favour too.

However it is in the scorers market that we are casting our betting lines for this match, with two Sam Allardyce disciples preferred to breach the Fulham defence.

First up is Carlton Cole, who should be pushing to start the match given his incredible record over the Cottagers, let alone the hosts’ woeful run of five games without a win and just two goals.

The recently re-signed Iron has scored six times in five starts against Fulham, which is more prolific than he’s been against any other side. Allardyce will surely be aware of that record, especially as West Ham have tweeted the stat, and may well consider using the striker from the start as a good luck charm.

A 6/1 price on the former Chelsea man opening the scoring obviously looks rather tasty once armed with that information, but 2/1 on him netting anytime can’t be shirked either if you’re of the opinion that he’ll be kept to a fleeting appearance.

Kevin Nolan is the other Hammer to keep an eye on at 9/4 in the anytime market, as he’s bagged five career goals against the Whites and two in his last two West Ham appearances against them.

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

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.