Back

Big Sam may rue opting against Bony buy as West Ham host Swans

It emerged in the build-up to Super Sunday’s lunchtime offering that West Ham United, 13/2 chances with Coral for a top six finish, could’ve signed Swansea City frontman Wilfried Bony instead of permanently purchasing Andy Carroll last summer.

Sam Allardyce stuck to his guns by buying the English centre forward, whose Hammers career has been plagued by injuries so far, though. Only time will tell how wise this decision was.

“It was a case of one or the other,” said Allardyce. “We couldn’t do both with the budget we had.” Bony has since signed a new contract with the south Wales side.

The Swans have lost their two Premier League game at Upton Park, however, and those defeats in both February of this and last year came courtesy of Big Sam acolytes. His West Ham side are 13/10 favourites for another home win here.

Last time out in this fixture, Hammers club captain Kevin Nolan bagged a brace and, while a repeat performance or better seems fanciful at 14/1, odds of 11/4 in the anytime market are worth considering as he netted in their midweek win at West Bromwich Albion.

Target man Carroll netted the only goal back in 2013 when the sides met in east London, and comes in here for a sumptuous 7/2 wincast. Doubts remain over alternative West Ham striking options Diafra Sakho and Enner Valencia, though, while the influential Alex Song may join Mark Noble in being missing from midfield.

All eyes are on Ivory Coast international Bony for this battle, then. He netted 25 times across all competitions last term and has six in a dozen Premier League outings so far this campaign.

Two of those have come in Bony’s last three appearances, and both strikes were opening goals. Back him at 5/1 to score first again here, or a safer 5/4 in the anytime market.

Garry Monk, 23/10 to steer his visiting side to either victory or a point, will be forced into a change in defence, as left back Neil Taylor is suspended.

Alternative option Ben Davies was sold to Spurs over the summer, which sweetened things for Swansea to re-sign Gylfi Sigurdsson, so one from youngster Stephen Kingsley, Dutch defender Dwight Tiendalli or Jazz Richards will come in. Federico Fernandez is also absent with a calf problem.

Speaking of Sigurdsson, he is due a goal and the Iceland international is a 9/4 shot to score anytime here. The Swans’ away form is very poor, though, as they last won on their travels at Old Trafford on the opening day, picking up a two points outside Wales since.

The Hammers, by contrast, have dropped the same amount on their own turf since August, winning four and drawing the other of their five Premier League home games thereafter. As Allardyce’s side post superior form, but Swansea still have Bony, back a West Ham win with both teams scoring at 4/1.