Crystal Palace vs West Ham Handicapping & Soccer Picks

Lee Phelps

Friday, August 22, 2014 9:12 PM UTC

Friday, Aug. 22, 2014 9:12 PM UTC

Here's an interesting look at the Crystal Palace vs. West Ham Premier League Fixture ahead of their Saturday game. We will be predicting the outcome and searching for betting value in the soccer odds offered for this upcoming match.

The Palace
I haven’t got any kind of vendetta against Crystal Palace, but I’m going to oppose them again this week as soccer picks. They did well at the Emirates, scoring a goal from a well worked set piece, but the Gunners looked off the pace. With more upheaval at the club this week, you have to wonder what the players think. Usually they just get on with it and “concentrate on our job on the pitch” etc etc.

On the field, I still maintain they are lacking any real quality, add to that one of their best players, Jason Puncheon, being banned for his red card at Arsenal and they’re even weaker. I singled out the attacking third as a major problem for them and I didn’t see anything from Marouane Chamakh or Frazier Campbell that changes my mind. They kept Glenn Murray out of the starting line-up last week.

The biggest worry for Palace is the fitness of Scott Dann. They must keep the goals out with limited firepower and if he doesn’t recover from a knock last Saturday, they will turn to Damien Delaney, who himself has been suffering with an injury.

The Ham
In my quest to oppose the Eagles, I wish it was someone else other than West Ham! They wasted a golden opportunity to beat Tottenham, as the North Londoners played for the majority of the game with 10 men. The Hammers committed the cardinal sin, by levelling up the numbers, as well as missing a penalty. Sam Allardyce was happy with the performance, but once again bemoaned his lack of strike options. You have to wonder why he hasn’t strengthened more in that department, but that’s for another forum.

West Ham have their own problems at the back, with James Collins banned and James Tomkins is also a doubt, but Carl Jenkinson could feature for the first time at right-back.

It’s in midfield and up front that interests me, because it will tell us a lot about how Big Sam approaches the season. If he opts for a two-man strike force with Mauro Zarate and Carlton Cole, with a debut for big summer signing Enner Valencia, I think they’ll beat Palace by hitting them on the break, but if he goes for a five man midfield with Stewart Downing and Ricardo Vaz Te, expect an attritional match with few goals.

Soccer Picks
Last season West Ham scored away goals at Tottenham, Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United, so I don’t think it’s outlandish to suggest they will score on Saturday.

I hate saying ‘wait for team news’ but I do think it’s vital here, but whatever team the Hammers’ boss sends out on to the Selhurst Park pitch, I don’t think they will lose. If it’s an attacking line up I say away win, if not I say draw for our selection of the soccer odds.

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