Back

Diafra Sakho returns to further enhance West Ham’s great start

New West Ham United striker Diafra Sakho has been an absolute revelation for the east Londoners this season so far, having got a goal in all seven of his starts for the club across all competitions. Another in their next meeting with Aston Villa would be Premier League record.

In those six league matches, the Hammers have four victories, including the 3-1 scoreline against Liverpool, and then a 2-1 result over champions Manchester City, where the Senegalese attacker effectively got the winner.

However, Sakho later injured himself in that encounter, after colliding with Sky Blues keeper Joe Hart, meaning that he missed out on the following fixture with Stoke City. His team still claimed a comeback 2-2 draw away to the Potters, but will be thankful of his quick recovery from a shoulder issue.

West Ham’s head of medical and sports science Stijn Vandenbroucke confirmed: “Diafra ran individually on Monday at Chadwell Heath and will be available for the game.”

While on another forward who has been out injured, he added: “Andy Carroll trained and played in a behind-closed-doors match last week, which he came though, and will continue to train this week.”

But what West Ham boss Sam Allardyce has in Sakho is a different type of forward to tall target man Carroll. The 24-year-old summer signing from Metz offers pace and the ability to run at defenders, whilst also being able to be in the right place at the right time.

As you can see from the Hammers’ stats and performances last term, where they netted just 40 times (the same as relegated Fulham) and were criticised for playing such defensive football, Sakho was just the man they were missing. This season already, they have 19 goals in 10 Premier League games.

West Ham go into their meeting with Villa on Saturday November 8th at Upton Park as odds-on 8/11 favourites for victory. They sit up in fifth place in the Premier League, on 17 points, after 10 matches.

Paul Lambert’s Villa, on the other hand, are down in 16th after a terrible run of six straight defeats in the top flight, netting just once, and have conceded 15. The stage, therefore, is all set for Sakho to keep up his impressive scoring run. He is priced at evens in the anytime market and 4/1 to strike first.

Sakho, who has just two senior Senegal caps, with one goal, but is still eligible to represent France, is currently fifth-equal in the Premier League goalscoring charts this term, along with Southampton revelation Graziano Pelle. If you fancy him to keep up the run until the end of the season and be the leading marksman, then take enticing odds of 66/1.