Sports Betting Weekly

Liverpool v West Ham

When: Saturday, 31 January 2015 @ 21:00 (FINISHED)
Where: Anfield
Having taken a break to accommodate both the F.A. and League cups last week, the Premier League returns with a bang this weekend as a crunch match between Liverpool and West Ham at Anfield looks set to have a decisive bearing on which side will make it into Europe this season.

While the visitors have been racking up the plaudits for their form and football this season under Sam Allardyce, it should be noted that both Liverpool’s results and performances have been steadily improving without much fanfare in recent weeks and it is they who sit higher in the form table.

The Reds are currently unbeaten in their last ten matches in all competitions, with a run of five wins and five draws following their 3-0 defeat to Manchester United in December. True, a fair portion of those results have come against lower league opposition in the cups, but it is worth pointing out that Brendan Rodgers side have also faced Swansea, Arsenal and Chelsea (twice) during that period.

Indeed, in their Premier League matches Liverpool have taken 14 from a possible 18 points in their previous six fixtures, while West Ham have mustered just eight, making the hosts understandable 4/6 favourites, with the visitors – who have not won a game away from the safety of Upton Park since the 2-1 win over West Brom at the start of December – out at 9/2 and the draw priced at 3/1.

While the East Londoners did get the better of Liverpool in a 3-1 win the last time the two sides met, that result came during a difficult period for the Merseyside club and was actually the first time they’d lost to West Ham in the league since the 2010/2011 season. In fact, in the last 10 Premier League games between the two clubs, West Ham have been beaten on seven occasions and won just twice, with an average of 3.5 goals per game in that run suggesting this could be another open affair.

That being said, with returning Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge likely to only make the bench, there will be concerns as to whether the Reds will able to replicate that free-scoring form, meaning that the 4/5 on both teams scoring is preferable to the 2/1 on there being over 3.5 goals in the game.

Similarly, the lack of an out-and-out forward means that it is something of a minefield picking out a first scorer for Rodgers men, while the 31/10 available on Andy Carroll scoring at any time for the visitors looks to offer a fair bit of value given that the England forward has a goal in each of his last two Premier League games and Liverpool have looked vulnerable to height from set-pieces this season.