EPL Soccer Pick: West Ham United to Win vs. Sunderland

Lee Phelps

Wednesday, December 10, 2014 8:29 PM UTC

Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014 8:29 PM UTC

Can West Ham continue their great form? Can Sunderland stop the Hammers scoring like they did Chelsea? Are the odds correct? Get the answers to these questions and our cappers' best free picks from the betting on the match.

Sunderland are the latest team to face one of the surprise packages of the Premier League season as West Ham make the trip up to the North East, ready to continue their winning run. The Black Cats have had some good news this week with Conor Wickham signing a new deal, but even that extra boost seems nothing compared to the Hammers’ super confident front line.


Whichever table who look at, Gus Poyet’s men are at the wrong end of it. They are two points above the relegation zone, they are 14th in the form zone, 16th in the ratings rankings and second bottom in the home ratings and have only won once at the Stadium of Light all season. Keep this in mind when looking over the soccer odds.

They have only scored eight goals in their eight matches in front of their own fans and only manage an average of two and half shots on target a match. Defensively they are the fourth worst team at allowing shots on their goal, with their opponents amassing 14 attempts on goal per game.

Let’s look at a positive though, they have picked up draws away at Liverpool (which admittedly isn’t anything to write home about) and more impressively the 0-0 at home to Chelsea, becoming the first team to stop the Blues scoring in the Premier League this season.

Let’s look at how they stopped Mourinho and whether they will try it again against the free-scoring Hammers. First of all Lee Cattermole was excellent, Poyet said: “The role in front of the back four is a very important one for us. Lee’s enjoying it and he’s the player who has improved the most with me at Sunderland. We have a great understanding and he does that role to perfection.”

Chelsea also played through the middle and didn’t have enough width, while the defenders kept Diego Costa quiet and frustrated him throughout. He only managed two blocked shots during his 76 minutes on the pitch.

There are two questions: can Sunderland do that again and more importantly will they want to against West Ham, who obviously aren’t in the same bracket as Chelsea. If Sunderland doesn't concentrate as hard, they won’t get the same result.


West Ham
Sam Allardyce’s men are mirror images of their opponents, flying high in fourth place in the league, fifth in away shots on goal averaging five on target on every trip, dropped 15 points all season, winning eight, losing four and drawing three. They have only dropped five points from their last 27, although admittedly their best form has been at home.

They have won three on the road at Palace, Burnley and West Bromwich who of course are three of the worst teams in the division, with draws at Stoke and Hull and defeats at Manchester United and Everton. I think this picture gives an accurate idea of where West Ham are. The major plus for them is their goal-scoring, with 14 goals in their seven matches. That record is the third best, behind only Manchester City and Chelsea.

Having Diafra Sakho, Enner Valencia and Andy Carrol in the side, with the ability to attack with intricate passing, on the break with the long ball game and width showed by the aerial bombardment Swansea suffered and I think they will create far too many problems for Sunderland.


Soccer Picks
Despite Poyet’s best intentions, I don’t think his players will be able to maintain as focused as they did for Liverpool and Chelsea, partly because mentally they will not treat West Ham with the same respect as they did in those two teams. Sam Allardyce and his players are on the crest of a wave, with fantastic midfield and attacking talent on show.

I see no reason to go for anything other than the 7/4 for the Londoners to win as my soccer pick, but if you are looking for other bets to go with it. West Ham and over 2.5 goals is 18/5.

Free Soccer Pick: West Ham win 7/4

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