Manchester City requires a point to win the English Premier League title for the second time in three seasons and, even though one remembers the hard work that the Citizens made of beating Queens Park Rangers in similar circumstances two years ago, one cannot see anything except a big home win.
Unlike Queens Park Rangers, which was fighting for its life at the foot of the English Premier League ladder, West Ham has nothing tangible for which to play. One thinks that an early Manchester City goal has the potential to open the floodgates for any number of logically sound reasons.
First, Manchester City needs only to draw against West Ham to win the English Premier League championship so, if it gets its nose in front fairly early in the game, it should be able to play with the kind of artistic freedom that strikes fear into the hearts of its domestic opponents.
Second, Manchester City has won 13 of its 18 English Premier League home matches by two or more goals. And that does not include some of its home cup victories, including its 6-0 thrashing of West Ham in the English Capital One Cup.
Third, West Ham’s record against the English Premier League heavyweights has been appalling. West Ham lost six of its seven English Premier League home games against Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham. Away from home, West Ham has fared just a bit better, collecting four English Premier League points from one win and one draw. Thank God for Tottenham, the team that West Ham defeated home and away, otherwise the Hammers would have had figures too ugly at which to look.
Manchester City beat West Ham 3-1 at the Boleyn Ground in the reverse English Premier League fixture and, of course, the Citizens thrashed a below-strength Hammers team 6-0 in the English Capital One Cup tie at the Etihad Stadium. So one should not be nervous about backing Manchester City to defeat West Ham comfortably again, with the Citizens trading at odds against to cover a two-goal line. Boylesports and Paddy Power are offering odds of 2.10 that Manchester City beats West Ham by three or more goals. There are lots of odds-on plays that look like money for old rope but, if one wants to bet at odds against, that is the way to go.
There are plenty of English Premier League dead rubbers so punters must tread carefully. Tottenham requires a point from its English Premier League home match versus Aston Villa to guarantee UEFA Europa League qualification and, with the Villans missing their most dangerous attacking weapons, Spurs appeal at odds of 1.53 with Coral and Sky Bet to sign off with three home points.
Finally, strictly speaking there is nothing on the line when English Premier League escape artist Sunderland entertains Swansea but such is the form of the Black Cats that one has to be interested in them at odds of 2.30 with BetVictor.
Sunderland swept aside West Bromwich 2-0 on Wednesday to complete one of the greatest English Premier League rescue jobs. Sunderland is a different kettle of fish from the side that lost the reverse English Premier League fixture 0-4 at Swansea and it hosts a Swans team that, apart from beating out-of-form Newcastle 2-1 at St James’ Park, has struggled to avoid defeat on its travels. Sunderland is flying thanks to four consecutive English Premier League wins and one is surprised that bookmakers are quoting the Black Cats at much above even money. Sunderland is a value bet at odds of 2.30.
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