West Ham v Hull: Tigers roar to be little more than a purr in London

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West Ham may feel like they have had a battle already this week, slogging out 120 minutes against Everton in the FA Cup, but the focus must now switch to maintaining their solid Premier League position.

The visit of Hull will provide a stern test for Sam Allardyce’s men, having gone 2-0 down in the reverse fixture, only for the Irons’ tenacity to shine through and nick a point.

That same conclusion is a 11/4 shot on Sunday, while it is 9/2 that Steve Bruce’s side can go one better and get the win.

But it is not the way we are leaning for our three best bets on the encounter…

West Ham to win @ 7/10

The Hammers will feel frustrated they needed penalties to see off Everton in midweek, but put in a decent showing nonetheless.

They have now lost just one of their last 10 at Upton Park in all competitions and are certainly making the Boleyn Ground somewhat of a fortress.

They can welcome back Winston Reid in the centre of defence, and with Nikica Jelavic and Abel Hernandez joining the likes of Mo Diame on the sidelines, it is hard to see where Hull’s goals are going to come from.

Result after 15 minutes @ 7/2

While we expect the Hammers to pick up three points, the tie could be wrapped up fairly early on.

Sam Allardyce’s men may have had to come from 2-0 down at the KC, but on the road The Tigers are slow starters.

They have conceded four goals in the opening 15 minutes (scoring none) away from home, the same amount in that period on their own patch.

Throw in that West Ham have scored four and not conceded in the opening quarter of an hour at home this season, and they could be on for an early lead.

Carlton Cole to score last @ 13/2

We hear you sniggering, but listen up!

Cole has netted four goals in his six appearances against Hull in the Premier League, surely one of his best ratios against any club.

But while we may be tipping him to score, it is likely to come late.

With Andy Carroll and Enner Valencia forming a decent partnership, expect the former Chelsea striker to come off the bench late on.

All three strikes he has converted this season have been the last in their respective matches and he looks a good price to do the same in east London this weekend.

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

Fancy Carlton Cole to strike late on? Back the big man to close the scoring using your free £25 bet and pick up over £160 if he nets last!

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.