Hammers looking to tame Tigers at the KC Stadium
All of a sudden, Hull City, 33/1 to secure a top six Premier League finish this term, have a squad that has quality strength in depth.
They entertain West Ham, and the Tigers are in an encouraging position after three games, sat in mid-table. Steve Bruce’s boys are 11/10 for victory, and the manager could hand new signing Mohamed Diame a debut against his former club, with the Senegal midfielder 7/2 to score against them.
However, Hull’s other new recruits Hatem Ben Arfa and Gaston Ramirez are struggling in their battle to be match fit, while record signing and striker Abel Hernandez is still awaiting a work permit.
Sam Allardyce could hand maiden starts in claret and blue to Morgan Amalfitano and Alex Song, the latter seemingly a class replacement for Diame, who both have previous Premier League experience.
The Hammers have won five of the last seven meetings against the Humberside outfit, and are 14/5 to continue that form at the KC Stadium.
Talk of the town, though, has been surrounding off-field issues in Hull, with chairman-cum-owner Assem Allam reportedly looking for a buyer.
Bruce is remaining optimistic, and believes there will be “I think there will be a positive outcome. I genuinely believe that,” he said.
“That means, he will stay and he will win his case. I genuinely believe that will be the case.
“We have spoken at length. I know for a fact he doesn’t really want to sell it and why would he after what he’s achieved?
“He’s so principled on it that, if he was pushed, then he would and that’s the sad situation we find ourselves in.”
In Hernandez’s expected absence, top scorer Nikica Jelavic is expected to start, and is an 11/2 chance with Coral to score the first goal, and make it three in the Premier League for the season. The visitors’ best chance could come from centre forward Carlton Cole, who has already opened his account for the campaign, and is 11/4 to net anytime.