Slaven Bilic’s buoyed West Ham boys host net-shy Newcastle
West Ham United have had, to say the least, an exciting start to life under Slaven Bilic’s management, which is reflected in their 5/4 match favourites status with Coral to beat visiting Newcastle United.
There have been highs, such as Hammering both Arsenal and Liverpool on the road, and lows, like narrowly losing out to both Leicester City and Bournemouth, as well as an underwhelming exit from the Europa League qualifiers.
Clearly, the Londoners need to show more of an Irons fist at home, where they are yet to win under Croatian coach Bilic in the Premier League, but have a prime opportunity here to do so on Monday Night Football when they welcome the Magpies to their nest.
Speaking ahead of the match, manager Bilic underlined the need for picking up points on their own patch. “It is very important,” he said. “We need to win at home, or at least to get something from the game because we need to build on our great away results.”
The Upton Park outfit have been grabbing goals galore, with nine notched in four domestic fixtures so far. Having been yet to draw a blank in the league, even when on the losing side, the capital club are excellent value at 18/5 to net three or more in their latest fixture.
Young Argentine loanee Manuel Lanzini delivered on his full league debut at Anfield, with exuberance and an opportunistic streak evident in his unveiling, so back the promising South American at a tempting 2/1 to strike again anytime.
Also excelling under new boss Bilic has been playmaker Dimitri Payet, whose creativity in attack could be complemented by new signings Nikica Jelavic, Michail Antonio and Victor Moses, who are 5/4, 7/4 and 11/4 chances in the anytime market respectively.
Meanwhile, Geordie battering ram Andy Carroll (5/1 to fire the final shot) is in contention for a return to the fold following a lengthy injury absence, and will be aiming to challenge dangerous Diafra Sakho (5/1 to score first) for the sole spot up top against his former club.
Guests Newcastle, 12/5 to draw or outsiders at 23/10 for victory, will miss hot-headed hitman Aleksandar Mitrovic, suspended after seeing red last time out, but have plenty of options left in attack.
Given that the Hammers have conceded six goals at home so far this season, Steve McClaren’s side should be going for the jugular, but lack spark, having scored just two times in the league.
Looking to solve this drought may be Spanish striking talent Ayoze Perez (15/8 to bag anytime), or more experienced peer Papiss Cisse, with promising Frenchman Florian Thauvin (9/4) and Dutch midfield maestro Geroginio Wijnaldum (10/1 to be first on target) providing threats from midfield.
The travelling Tyneside team will take heart from their excellent away record at Upton Park, having lost just two of their past nine tussles there, but will need to show much more potency if they are to exploit there hosts’ rearguard weaknesses.
Betting tip: Place a stake on the Hammers at 18/5 to notch three or more