Under-fire West Ham manager Sam Allardyce knew he’d need to be at his shrewd best during the January transfer window to convince the doubters, and perhaps his own squad, that the east London outfit can avoid relegation from the Premier League.
And as the Irons prepare to entertain Swansea City at Upton Park, a match they’re priced at 13/8 to take all three points from, the club can reflect positively on the business they’ve managed to conclude over the past month.
Signings of the pedigree of Abdul Razak, Marco Borriello and Antonio Nocerino will no doubt lift the rest of the Hammers camp and West Ham look a solid bet to secure only a second league win in 11 matches.
They’ll need to provide a greater threat than the one they managed in their recent industrial display against Chelsea.
The tactics employed by Allardyce in that 0-0 draw were much criticised by Blues boss Jose Mourinho but Big Sam has bigger problems to worry about with his team currently two points from safety.
Rousing the usually vociferous home crowd will be key if West Ham are to stay up, an eventuality available at 4/9 with Ladbrokes, and a win against Michael Laudrup’s Swansea could provide a crucial platform to build from.
The Swans are also 13/8 shots to emerge victorious with the draw priced at 23/10, although given their previous record in east London you could be forgiven for avoiding a bet on either of those outcomes.
The Welsh side have won on only one of their 22 previous league meetings with West Ham at the Boleyn Ground.
A paltry two goal return from their last five Premier League games on the road, three of those defeats, also doesn’t bode well for their chances in this contest.
One man who will no doubt be eager to impress at the sharp end is Carlton Cole, now fighting for a place in the side given the team’s new arrivals and the return of Andy Carroll from injury.
The former Chelsea striker is available at 6/1 to score first with Swans frontman Wilfried Bony 5/1 to open proceedings and add to a recent tally of six goals in his last six fixtures in all competitions.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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