Price Boost: West Ham man given healthy-looking first goal raise

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Since regaining his fitness this season, Andy Carroll has been a mainstay of Sam Allardyce’s West Ham teamsheet, only missing one game since his first start of the campaign against Everton back in November.

The one match he has had off in that time came in the FA Cup, also against the Toffees, where a late Romelu Lukaku equaliser ensured a replay back at Upton Park is required to find out who Doncaster or Bristol City’s fourth-round opponents will be.

That result may well ensure that the former Newcastle striker is afforded at least an appearance for the do-over encounter, or at least fans of Ladbrokes’ boosted first goalscorer hope it does.

Carroll’s odds to get the scoreboard rolling when Roberto Martinez’s men visit east London have been inflated by the bookie from 5/1 to 6s and it’s a price that is well worth looking at should the gangly frontman earn a start.

The former England goal-getter has netted four times in his 10 starts in claret and blue this term, with half of that tally opening the game’s scoring.

An added boost to the theory that the 26-year-old will net the first against Everton is the fact that Carroll performs better in front of goal when playing at home, bagging three of his four strikes at Upton Park this season.

His record against the Goodison Park outfit is a poor one, with just one Premier League goal to his name from seven games.

But change the parameters to the FA Cup, and the former Liverpool flop becomes as red hot as the straightening tongs that keep his long locks in order, with one goal from one appearance.

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.