Premier League Soccer Picks: West Ham United vs. Stoke City

Nikki Adams

Friday, April 10, 2015 7:47 PM GMT

Friday, Apr. 10, 2015 7:47 PM GMT

West Ham United and Stoke City collide in week 32 EPL betting, all while both sides look to finish the season in the Top 10. Here's a preview of this clash complete with soccer betting picks.

West Ham United Favored
The Hammers are set to welcome the Potters to Boleyn Ground this weekend, a game that is cornered in their camp somewhat symbolically. As the hosts, they emerge as the expected favorites. But at rather puffed up +130 soccer odds to win outright, odds makers don't seem to be entirely confident in their ability to win.

Only a few months back, the Hammers were enjoying life in England's top flight. They were challenging for a Top 6 finish and appeared to be legitimate contenders in FA Cup, when, all of a sudden, injuries hit the team, everything went tits up on both fronts and gloom descended over Upton Park.

In hindsight, perhaps the 2-0 loss to Liverpool at Anfield Stadium was the catalyst for the Hammers' downward spiral in the Premier League table.  Although they managed three consecutive draws in their ensuing Premier League fixtures, respectable ones even against Man United (home), Southampton and Tottenham (both away), the disappointment must have been deflating; particularly after Man U forced a share in the spoils by a 92nd-minute equalizer, and then they were cruelly denied the win over Tottenham by a contentious penalty call in the 95th minute.

Chalk those to bad luck, poor officiating or conspiracy theories, but they've since gone with just one win in their last five Premier League fixtures. Interspersed between those was also a humiliating 4-0 defeat to West Bromwich Albion in FA Cup action that only adds to the increasing frustrations at Upton Park.

So you can imagine how well last weekend's 2-1 defeat to basement-dwelling Leicester City went down amongst the Hammers' faithful and soccer bettors. It was just another nail in the coffin that left Sam Allardyce and his Hammers with just one win in their last ten fixtures across all competitions. To say his tenure at Upton Park is approaching it's sell-by date is no exaggeration.

Nevertheless, West Ham United are sat pretty in ninth place in the table. They boast an 11-9-11 record  and 46 points, which includes an 8-3-5 record at home and a 3-6-6 record on the road. Clearly, home form is the impetus behind their top-half-of-the-table digs. Importantly, looking just at home stats, they are 2-1-2 in their last five home fixtures, with their last win coming in week 30 of EPL betting, 1-0 win over Sunderland.

That modest run of form at home may not be much, but it could be enough to give the Hammers hope ahead of their clash with the Potters, who've had a spot of trouble of late and seen their overall form slip in the last few weeks.

 

Stoke City 
Stoke City's Charlie Adams scored a spectacular goal in last weekend's clash with Chelsea, a 66-yard strike that beat Belgian keeper Thibaut Courtois and, simultaneously, made David Beckham's famous long-strike back in the day look rather pedestrian by comparison. Unfortunately, the only talking point after the game concluded was Chelsea's 2-1 win that lifted Jose Mourinho and his Blues to a seven-point lead over Arsenal at the top of the Premier League table  with a game in hand and the likelihood that their bid to clinch the Premier League title will go unchallenged down the stretch.

The 2-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge dropped a third straight loss on the Potters and saw them slip down the Premier League table to the bottom of the Top 10. Some allowances can be made for the respectable loss to Chelsea: losing by a goal to the class of the league this season is no mean feat. However, defeats to Crystal Palace at home and to struggling West Bromwich Albion are missed opportunities the Potters might rue in their bid to set a new club record by clinching their best-ever finish on a season.

As it is, Stoke City boast a 12-6-13 record and 42 points, which includes a 7-2-6 record at the Potteries and a 5-4-7 record on the road. While home form has been better than road form this season, they've put forward a 3-1-3 record in their last seven outings in all competitions. It's a modest road record, but positive enough to give the Potters some measure of optimism against a side that is visibly struggling on form in recent months. It could be enough to make a soccer pick on the Potters a value one at +240 on the Premier League odds board.

 

Soccer Betting Verdict:
At face value, soccer bettors may find this a tough game to call with both teams riding questionable form. So it won't surprise us if the soccer betting opinion is split down the middle. By digging a bit deeper into the results of both teams, however, we feel Stoke City's poor spate of results aren't as concerning as those of West Ham United. The three games they lost in a row were only by a goal and the last defeat to Chelsea was as much unfortunate as it was encouraging. The Potters really took it to the Blues and that's worth taking stock of for your soccer picks.

If they take the positives from that game, there's no reason to assume they can't heap more misery on Sam Allardyce and his Hammers on Saturday. Put another way: they may be the +240 long shots on the Premier League odds board to win outright, but an away win by Stoke City over West Ham United is hardly going to be the biggest surprise in the world.

Soccer Picks: Stoke City +240 at 5Dimes

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