Three ways to back your team: West Ham
Fans demand improvement on last season
West Ham fans were bitterly disappointed by the move across East London to their new home in Stratford, trading the intimacy of the Boleyn Ground for the wide-open spaces of the London Stadium.
What would’ve upset supporters more was the poor form shown by their side last term. Eventually ending 11th, they spent much of the campaign stuck down at the wrong end of the pile, battling against the threat of relegation. Will 2017/18 be any better? Coral look at three ways to back The Hammers this season.
Hammers showing real ambition
West Ham took a while to get started in the summer transfer window, but manager Slaven Bilic has been nothing if not ambitious in July. He signed Stoke striker Marko Arnautovic for £20m, brought England number one Joe Hart in on loan and, at the time of writing, is putting the finishing touches to a bold move to bring former Manchester United scorer Javier Hernandez to the club. Three very good signings, and the faith shown in the manager by the West Ham board must be respected. A top-10 finish will be the least owners David Sullivan and David Gold expect for their money, with European qualification a bonus. The Premier League is known for its unpredictability, but we’ll put a line through the 750/1 about a league title, and instead take 6/5 on a top-half finish. That should pull its weight in multiples.
Joe Hart will inspire confidence
West Ham have never won the League Cup, finishing second in 1966 and 1981. That’s surprising for a club with their history, but there’s nothing to say it won’t change this season. With the Premier League having no less than seven sides in European competition this year, many of the division’s bigger names will place the League Cup way down their list of priorities. If West Ham’s new faces can hit the ground running – and they should, given their experience of English football – we could see claret and blue ribbons on the silver. Joe Hart won the trophy twice as a player, 2014 and 2016, and his big game experience will inspire confidence in the ranks. West Ham to win the League Cup is a 33/1 shot, and that looks worth an interest.
West Ham handed a tough opening month
Coral traders offer a number of match bets this term, asking who will finish higher in the final rankings. West Ham have been paired with some tough opponents, including Leicester and Southampton, but we’re confident they’ll fare better than London rivals Crystal Palace, and if you agree, there’s 8/15 available. It doesn’t matter where the two teams finish, top and second, bottom and second bottom, as long as The Hammers finish higher than The Eagles, you’ll get paid out. Slaven Bilic’s side have a tough August, away to Man Utd, Southampton and Newcastle. We’d be surprised if they got more than four points from that trio.