Newcastle, dogged with Championship nightmares, take their woeful form to east London where they’re hoping to find West Ham in a charitable demeanour.
One of Sam Allardyce’s more annoying habits is his broken-record impersonation and, one of the tracks he’s regularly spinning is that the Toon didn’t give him enough time during his disastrous managerial stint in the north east. With that in mind, he’s not likely to spurn the opportunity to unload a vat of fuel onto their not-quite-blazing relegation fire.
His Hammers side are 5/4 to win the game, which seems somewhat more than fair given that, were it for not for Papiss Cisse’s two injury-time strikes against Stoke and Fulham, the Magpies would be winless in eight Premier League outings.
Alan Pardew, who is subject to increased pressure from the Tyneside terraces, desperately needs the points and he, alike his bulky counterpart, will be returning to a stomping ground where picking up a win would probably please him more than any other. His side can be backed at a stingy 21/10, while an unlikely split of the spoils is priced up at 12/5.
With rife reports of a fractured camp zipping around the appropriate media channels, you’d be either daft or the most staunch of Newcastle fans to back against the home win here. West Ham have only suffered one defeat in seven league outings at the Boleyn Ground, whereas the Toon have only mustered two victories outside their small corner of the world in the entire campaign.
However, they do have a good chance of finding the back of the net. No side, with the exception of Swansea and Wigan, of the previous 12 visitors has failed to beat Jussi Jaaskelainen so, lumping on in favour of some home team jubilation in combination with the registration of more than 2.5 goals has to be worth a flutter here at 12/5.
A quick glance at the goalscorer markets and, with Andy Carroll also facing a former employer in this tussle, his is the name that draws the eyes. He’s 5/2 to notch at any point in a home win and this is a price that should not be sniffed at.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date