West Ham’s uncouth footballing style makes them prime candidates to get something off Man City when the sides meet at Upton Park.
City have been unconvincing in their opening Premier League games and Sam Allardyce’s hard-working, direct style is akin to that of Everton, Sunderland and Stoke, all of who the reigning Premier League champions have failed to beat away from home under Roberto Mancini, adding value to the Hammers’ sizeable price of 4/1.
Unlike last season, West Ham have enjoyed playing at Upton Park, where they have won three games from five in league action; their only defeat falling against Arsenal.
They bounced back from that setback with a 4-1 drubbing of Southampton in their last home match and with City looking shaky, especially on the road, where they were fortunate to beat both West Brom and Fulham, they needn’t fear the champions.
Recent history begs to differ with that statement, however, as West Ham have lost five of their last six home games against the defending champions, shipping 16 goals in that period. Their solitary win came against City’s arch rivals Man United, who they overcame in a 2-1 victory in 2007/08.
Their head-to-head record also suggests they are long overdue a win against the Citizens. In the last six league and cup renewals of this fixture, the hosts have won just once, as opposed to Man City’s three wins, keeping as many clean sheets in the process.
City look suspect at the back this season, Andy Carroll has it in his locker to cause all kinds of chaos in their ranks with his strength and aerial prowess, making it difficult to imagine the visitors keeping another clean sheet this time around.
For the Hammers to keep their next adversaries at bay for 90 minutes, however, will represent a momentous achievement; one even the might of Real Madrid, or anyone else for that matter, has been able to pull off.
This means West Ham will be expected to score at least twice if they are to win the game and the fact that they’ve only done this twice in five home league games indicates how big victory in this one would be.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date