West Brom to continue love affair with London draws at West Ham
West Brom are unbeaten in all five Premier League meetings against London opposition this season and have shared the spoils on their three trips to the Capital, which doesn’t bode well for Sam Allardyce in a fixture that he has described as a must-win for West Ham.
It is West Ham that are priced up as the favourites at 5/4, but the Hammers have taken just a single point from their last five Premier League games and this was at home to bottom-club Sunderland, which they also arguably deserved to lose.
In total, Allardyce has seen his team lose five of their last eight at Upton Park in the top-flight and the injury to defender James Collins in their most recent reverse at home to Arsenal will not help their cause either.
As for West Brom, they are winless in their last eight in the league since beating Crystal Palace in early November, but they have drawn two on the bounce to snap a four-game losing sequence.
The latest 1-1 at Tottenham will be especially encouraging and this adds to another 1-1 draw at Fulham and a 2-2 at Chelsea earlier this season.
West Brom’s odds are 21/10 to beat West Ham and this certainly looks the more lucrative of the win prices, but given the struggles both are having in collecting three points and the London record of the visitors, the draw has to be considered the best bet at 12/5.
Four of the last six showdowns between this pair have been draws too, including two of the last three at Upton Park, while no Premier League team had shared the points in more away games than West Brom this season.
The first goal will be as crucial as ever here, with neither team securing three points in any game this season in which they have conceded the opener. In fact, West Ham haven’t taken a single point from the seven league games in which they have fallen 1-0 behind.
It is the second half when the goals are most likely to arrive, with West Ham only scoring three first-half goals all season, compared to 12 after the interval, and West Brom scoring six and 13 in the first and second periods respectively.
This is a clear reason why the price is only 13/8 for the game to be goalless at the break, although consider all of the markets as a better price of 7/4 is available for the first half to witness under 0.5 goals scored.
Carlton Cole has scored three of West Ham’s last five league goals and he can be backed at 7/4 to find the target at any time in the 90 minutes.