Birmingham v West Ham Betting Preview

Birmingham have tried desperately to bring a proven goalscorer to the club during this transfer window and their need for one is glaring.

West Ham travel to St.Andrew's tonight but despite The Hammers holding a slender advantage, Birmingham will be aware a place in the final is still very much up for grabs.

Carlton Cole stepped off the bench to earn 10-man Hammers a potentially crucial advantage when the sides met two weeks ago. The result also possibly kept under-fire manager Avram Grant at the helm amid reports he was about to be sacked by the Premier League's bottom club.

David Bentley is cup-tied having played for Tottenham in an earlier round but Cameron Jerome could start after recovering from a hamstring strain.

West Ham will be without the suspended duo of Victor Obinna and Frederic Piquionne.

Wounded Animals?

After The Blues' 5-0 defeat at Old Trafford on Saturday, Alex McLeish described tonight's fixture as the perfect opportunity for his team to show their character and get their season back on track.

However, in order to do this they will need to put their league form behind them and conjure up a win at home, something they have not done since their quarter-final victory over Aston Villa on 1 December.

Grant will also be looking for his team to display character following Marouane Fellaini's late sucker punch, which cost the East Londoners what would have been an impressive three points at Goodison Park. However, the Israeli would take the same assured performance and result as any draw would see The Hammers progress to their first Wembley final in 30 years.

With betting odds at 11/10 the bookies are predicting a Birmingham win on the night but with West Ham to win and the draw at 12/5 they feel it is going to be close. Despite this the bookies have The Hammers as favourites to qualify with odds at around 8/13. You can get Birmingham in the same market at 5/4.

A Goal Drought Awaits

We are unlikely to see many goals at St.Andrew's tonight as Birmingham have only scored 10 league goals here all season, the worst home record in the Premiership. They also have the fifth best defensive record in the division. Neither are conducive for a goal fest.

Birmingham have tried desperately to bring a proven goalscorer to the club during this transfer window and their need for one is glaring. The Blues' top goalscorer is Craig Gardner with five and he is hardly known for his scoring prowess. Cameron Jerome is industrious but lacks goals and Nikola Zigic has so far failed to justify his large transfer fee, although he has scored half of his four goals in this competition. Gardner is around 3/1 to score at anytime but more popular best with punters could be Bowyer at 4/1 or Roger Johnson at 8/1. Zigic to score last at 6/1 may be worth a bet as it is likely McCleish would throw him on if Birmingham were in need of a late goal.

West Ham have scored a respectable ten league goals away from Upton Park this season but have also conceded a dismal twenty four and will have to be wary of trying to sit in to preserve their lead tonight as defending is not their forte.

With top scorer Piquionne suspended the Hammers will be counting on Carlton Cole to provide the goals. He already has three in the competition and can be backed at 2/1 to score his fourth. Scot Parker has chipped in with six goals this season and is 4/1 to score at anytime tonight.

Odds at 9/4 in the under 1.5 market looks a great bet if you feel goals will be at a minimum tonight.

The last time these sides met a victory for West Ham was just about enough for Avram Grant to keep his job. Defeat tonight for either side may have both mangers looking over their shoulders in fear of the chop.


Written By:- Jaymes Monte (About our Authors)
Posted on:- 25/01/2011 - 14:31 PM
Filed in:- Premier League Betting News


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