West Hamjustified one’s faith at generous odds to beat West Bromwich at The Hawthorns last month and, even though the Baggies have called time on Alan Irvine’s stint as coach, one does not think that they will turn the corner soon.
The plain and simple truth is that West Bromwich recruited poorly, both on and off the field, during the summer break and the Baggies may relinquish their English Premier League status as a consequence. Irvine had failed as the top man at Preston and Sheffield Wednesday so one thought that it was a big gamble for West Bromwich to appoint him ahead of several more qualified candidates. And the less that one says about Brown Ideye, who became West Bromwich’s record signing when he transferred from Dynamo Kyiv, the better. Ideye has been awful, scoring one English Premier League goal and he did not know anything about his drought-breaking effort, either.
West Ham’s forecast slide down the English Premier League ladder has begun but there was more to like about how the Hammers played in losing to Arsenal and Chelsea than how West Bromwich performed in going down to Manchester City, Queens Park Rangers and Stoke. And then there is collateral form analysis that comes in so handy at midway points of competitions when the league ladder may not tell the whole truth because, while most of the teams have played each other, the fixture list may be anything but even handed.
West Ham and West Bromwich have had 18 common English Premier League opponents – they have met every other side – and one’s view is that nine of those collateral form lines favour the Hammers, four favour the Baggies and five favour neither team. One wants to be with West Ham at home to West Bromwich and one believes that odds of 17/201.85-1180.85-1.180.85 with Bwin and William Hill are more than fair about the happy Hammers.
Also, there is nothing wrong with taking the odds of 83/1001.83-1200.83-1.200.83 with Betfred and Coral about Chelsea defeating Tottenham at White Hart Lane in Thursday’s 10th and final English Premier League game. Chelsea beat Tottenham 3-0 at Stamford Bridge in early December, putting the match to bed inside the first quarter by which time the Blues led 2-0.
Like all their English Premier League counterparts, Chelsea and Tottenham have faced every other side and, of those 18 collateral form lines, one’s view is that 11 favour the Blues, one favours Spurs and six favours neither team. Tottenham is seventh on the English Premier League ladder but one’s collateral form analysis suggests that it is a long way off being in the same class as Chelsea.
English Premier League punters looking for a bit of New Year’s Day value should consider supporting Southampton at odds of 2/13.00+2002.002.00-0.50 with Bet365 and William Hill to beat Arsenal at St Mary’s. Nineteen rounds into the 38-round English Premier League season and Southampton is ahead of Arsenal on goal difference. And one’s collateral form analysis suggests that Southampton deserves to be in front of Arsenal on the English Premier League ladder as well.
Southampton and Arsenal have had 18 common English Premier League foes and one’s view is that 10 of those collateral form line favour the Saints, five favour the Gunners and three favour neither side. Like West Ham, Southampton is likely to slide down the English Premier League ladder between now and the competition’s conclusion but bookmakers have no justification for listing the Saints at odds of 2/13.00+2002.002.00-0.50 to get the better of Arsenal at St Mary’s. It took a late Alexis Sanchez goal for Arsenal to defeat Southampton 1-0 in the reverse English Premier League fixture at the Emirates Stadium. Obviously, laying Arsenal rather than backing Southampton is an option for punters who prefer safer bets.
West Ham to beat West Brom
1st January 15:00 GMT
Where to Bet: Bwin,William Hill
Chelsea to beat Spurs
1st January 17:30 GMT
Where to Bet: Betfred, Coral
Southampton to beat Arsenal
1st January 15:00 GMT
Where to Bet: Bet365,William Hill
Eric has been a sports journalist for over 20 years and has travelled the world covering top sporting events for a number of publications. He also has a passion for betting and uses his in-depth knowledge of the sports world to pinpoint outstanding odds and value betting opportunities.
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