West Ham has not lost an English Premier League home match that it has finished with a full complement of players and one rates the Hammers as the best bet on the weekend card.
Sunday’s 5-1 English FA Cup fifth round victory at English Championship side Blackburn was West Ham’s latest impressive performance since Dimitri Payet regained full fitness – the Hammers midfielder has been one of the best value signings of the season. West Ham experienced a mid-campaign dip when Payet was absent from its starting line-up but the Hammers have bounced back since the France international returned, climbing to seventh position on the ladder and contending for one of the division’s UEFA competition berths. Slaven Bilic was a high-risk appointment for West Ham – especially in the year before its move to a new ground – but the former Hammers central defender has proven his many doubters wrong.
Saturday’s English Premier League game between West Ham and Sunderland will mark ex-Hammers boss Sam Allardyce’s first visit to the Boleyn Ground since the London team chose not to renew his contract. Sunderland has been fighting for its English Premier League life ever since Allardyce walked into the Stadium of Light so one does not expect the Black Cats to go to another level just because their game versus West Ham may carry extra significance for their boss. Sunderland is positioned one off the foot of the English Premier League ladder because it is the second worst team in the division.
According to one’s English Premier League collateral form analysis, Sunderland trails West Ham 4-4-11, which includes an unfavourable 2-2 draw between the sides at the Stadium of Light. Sunderland has lost each of its five English Premier League away matches against top-seven teams by more than one goal and it has accrued only one point from its eight road games versus sides ranked higher than 13th. West Ham has lost just two of its 18 English Premier League matches against lower ranked teams and its five Boleyn Ground victims include Chelsea, Liverpool and Southampton.
Marathonbet is offering odds of -119 about West Ham defeating Sunderland and another side above halfway on the English Premier League ladder that warrants interest is Watford, which is trading at odds of +140 with Coral, to beat fellow promoted team Bournemouth on Saturday. Like West Ham, Watford is a good few rolls over its rightful odds.
Ninth-placed Watford is six positions and eight points ahead of Bournemouth on the English Premier League ladder and the Hornets enjoy a 12-0-7 collateral form advantage over the Cherries. February has been a miserable month for Eddie Howe’s side because Bournemouth has stumbled to three home losses in a row, sliding back towards the English Premier League relegation zone and out of the English FA Cup.
By and large, Watford has taken care of business whenever it has encountered the English Premier League’s lesser lights – the Hornets are 10-5-2 versus teams outside the top six – and October’s reverse fixture ended in a 1-1 draw. The betting on the game infers that Watford is inferior to Bournemouth and that does not make any sense at all.
One’s third English Premier League pick is top-of-the-ladder Leicester to defeat the division’s most out-of-form side, Norwich, at odds of -179 . Norwich has collected only one point from its last six English Premier League matches and the Canaries were hanging on towards the end of their 2-2 home draw with West Ham last time out. The English Premier League collateral form difference between Leicester and Norwich is stark – the Foxes hold a 16-0-3 lead over the Canaries – and the bottom line is that the championship leader is not getting the respect that it deserves from bookmakers. Leicester ought to be extremely short odds to post a home win over a Norwich team that lost 0-2 at Aston Villa on its last English Premier League trip.
Finally, here are one’s English Premier League collateral form analysis results for every one of Round 27’s 10 games. The asterisk signifies the direct head-to-head winner.
West Ham 11*-4-4 versus Sunderland
Stoke 12*-2-5 versus Aston Villa
Watford 12*-0-7 versus Bournemouth
Southampton 10*-3-6 versus Chelsea
Leicester 16*0-3 versus Norwich
West Bromwich 7-0-12* versus Crystal Palace
Manchester United 7-0-12* versus Arsenal
Tottenham 12*-3-4 versus Swansea
West Ham to beat Sunderland
27th February 12:45 GMT
Watford to beat Bournemouth
27th February 15:00 GMT
Leicester to beat Norwich
27th February 15:00 GMT