EPL preview: West Ham United v Crystal Palace – January 30 – The London Stadium
It will be clash between two sides that have witnessed serious turnarounds in the last few months with new managers David Moyes and Roy Hodgson coming in. While Moyes’ West Ham have climbed to as high as the 11th spot from the bottom of the Premier league table in mid-December, Palace under Hodgson are on 13th now from being last, about a couple of months ago.
The Eagles’ splendid run since November has been somewhat punctured by 2 defeats (the only ones in that time) to Arsenal, the last one being a humiliating 1-4 drubbing at the Emirates on Saturday. The back-line of Fosu-Mensah, Martin Kelly, James Tomkins and van Aanholt were a real mess, conceding three quick goals in the first 13 minutes. Christian Benteke and Wilfried Zaha were shadows of their attacking selves and just managed one shot each on the Gunners goal. Luka Milivojevic has quietly established himself as scorer of sorts, getting his 5th goal for Palace (which puts him on top of the Eagles scorers’ list). West Ham as an opposition cannot be expected to be as ruthless as an Arsenal side in full flow and it could give an opportunity to the shell-shocked Eagles to find their feet when they visit London stadium for a night game with the Hammers on the 30th.
David Moyes’ West Ham have had their best run in the current Premier league season having dropped just one game of the eight played since early December. A convincing 1-4 away win has seen strikers Marko Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez back to form. These are formidable names upfront, but it’s been their lack of form that has kept them back. The Crystal Palace defense will have to be wary that another debacle, the one like Emirates on Saturday, does not take place. Forward Manuel Lanzini had to limp out with a hamstring injury in the drawn game with Bournemouth, but is expected to be back for the West Ham clash. Andre Ayew who is rumored to be embroiled in a £14 million move to Swansea was conspicuous by his absence for the Bournemouth clash looks doubtful for the 30th January game, too. Andy Carroll compounds injury woes for the Hammers, out with an injured ankle for some time at least.
Roy Hodgson will take note of the numerous free kicks the Eagles allowed Bournemouth around the box on Saturday. Folks like Zaha, Benteke and Sako could be expected to be deadly from such situations. Palace have an unsatisfactory record against West Ham, though, winning just one of their last six encounters. The last they beat the Hammers was way back in February 2015. Their previous encounter in October 2017 at the Selhurst Park had ended in a 2-2 home draw with Zaha salvaging Palace’s pride with an injury time equalizer.
Bookmakers’ seem to be marginally favoring the hosts for the mid-week London stadium clash. A 1-1 draw at odds of 6/1 and 2-2 at 16/1 look tempting bets.
Free Football Tip: West Ham to Win or Draw (Double Chance) – Best Odds 4/9 (Odds correct at 16:49 24th Jan)
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