West Ham’s Maiga best outsider for top team goalscorer

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We correctly identified Kevin Nolan as an outside punt at 10/1 to be West Ham’s top Premier League goalscorer last season and it is the Upton Park outfit that may offer some value in this market for the upcoming campaign.

Nolan is just 11/4 to repeat his achievement in the Hammers’ second season back in the top-flight and must enter calculations again, with Andy Carroll the favourite to top the West Ham scoring charts at 4/6.

Carroll’s injury record makes him a dangerous proposition and he is already involved in a race to be fit for the start of the campaign because of a heel problem.

The former Liverpool man managed just 22 starts last season and could be overhauled in the scoring ranks for a second time if spending too much time on the treatment table.

Modibo Maiga saw his first-team opportunities limited in the last campaign, but has benefited from a pre-season run in the team in the lone striker role while Carroll has been injured.

Maiga has looked busy leading the line and chipped in with three goals. There is certainly mileage to backing him at 20/1 to be West Ham’s top scorer this season.

With Carlton Cole and Marouane Chamakh both departing Upton Park this summer, Sam Allardyce only really has two strikers at his disposal and although adding depth in this department remains a priority, new faces have so far been slow in coming forward.

After Carroll and Nolan in the West Ham betting comes Ricardo Vaz Te at 8/1, but he is likely to be behind Maiga in the pecking order to start in attack and his prospects of filling a wide forward berth have diminished with the arrival of Stewart Downing on a four-year deal from Liverpool.

Carroll flanked by Downing and Matt Jarvis is expected to be Allardyce’s chosen forward line, but Maiga can expect to profit from more minutes than last season, even if they will be predominantly from the bench, and therefore has a reasonable shot at topping the West Ham scoring charts in 2013/14.

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

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.