Crystal Palace v West Ham
Palace desperate for wins under Hodgson
It has been a desperate start to the season for Crystal Palace and the Eagles find themselves four points adrift at the bottom of the Premier League after just one win from nine games. Roy Hodgson was given the task of lifting the club to safety after the dismissal of Frank de Boer after just four league games. The former England manager has his hands full and faces one of the toughest challenges of his career after the club lost their first seven games of the campaign without scoring a goal.
Hodgson stopped the rot with a crucial 2-1 home win over champions Chelsea earlier this month at Selhurst Park which gave their fans hope of a revival. The contribution of Wifried Zaha, who scored on his return from injury, was significant and the winger will play a major role in their survival battle. But Palace have not been able to build on this result after losing at Newcastle United before a much-changed team were thumped 4-1 at Bristol City in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday.
Pressure remains on Bilic
Slaven Bilic is battling to hold onto his job as West Ham boss after another poor start to the Premier League season. The Hammers' lowpoint came last weekend after a dismal 3-0 home defeat to newly-promoted Brighton which heightened the pressure on the Croatian. West Ham responded on Wednesday by coming from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at Tottenham in the cup but his future is likely to be judged on their league form.
West Ham have not found any consistency during this campaign and are languishing in 16th place in the table. Their only league wins came against Huddersfield and Swansea with the team yet to claim an away win. Bilic will be hoping their midweek win at Wembley will provide the Hammers with some confidence although the side featured nine changes from the Brighton loss and was up against an under-strength Spurs team.
Eagles may not justify favouritism
Crystal Palace come in as 2.40 favourites but those look like extremely stingy odds considering their form this season. With only one win from nine games, it is hard to put any faith in the Eagles despite their recent win over Chelsea. Their record against West Ham is poor, losing their last three home clashes in the league, so there is no value or great temptation to bet on the hosts to win.
West Ham can be backed at 3.40 but this also does not appeal in view of their current league form. The Irons have disappointed too often this season and there should not be an overreaction to the result against Tottenham. Their record at Selhurst Park is encouraging enough but their woeful showing against the Seagulls is a clear warning against placing your faith in the Hammers.
The draw is also available at 3.40 and probably merits consideration. West Ham's last two away league games, at Burnley and West Brom, have ended in stalemates but Palace have not been held to a draw all season. It would not be a huge surprise if these sides cancelled each other out but on balance it is worth looking elsewhere for alternative bets.
Lanzini fancied to continue excellent scoring record
Manuel Lanzini has enjoyed a superb record against Crystal Palace and will be relishing the chance to face the strugglers. The Argentine attacker has scored in all four appearances for West Ham against the Eagles including both games at Selhurst Park. Nine of his Premier League goals have come in London derbies and Lanzini netted eight times during the last campaign so is a proven goalscorer. He looks well worth backing at 16/5 to add to his tally against a leaky Palace defence this weekend.
Crystal Palace have lost 12 of their last 14 Premier League games to nil. Over 2017 as a whole, 17 of their 29 Premier League games have seen them lose without scoring. West Ham can be backed at 9/2 to win with a clean sheet.
Bobby Madley takes charge of this weekend's battle at the bottom with the referee already dishing out four red cards in eight games this season. He sent off two players in Man City's draw with Everton in August.
Back Manuel Lanzini to score a goal @ 16/5 (Sportsbook)