Hammers happy at home
The Hammers host Huddersfield seeking to sustain their push for a top-half finish while the all but relegated visitors have nothing other than pride to play for. A routine home win then, surely?
There’s a clutch of mid-range Premier League teams incapable of stringing more than one win together and West Ham are very much in that category.
Last weekend’s no-show at Cardiff has followed the recent pattern of a solid home win being followed up with a rather meek showing on the road. This has been the story of the season for West Ham though, good one week, indifferent the next.
Starting to feel at home
Much of the good though has come at the Olympic Stadium where West Ham are finally starting to feel at home, three years on from moving in. There’s an air of confidence about the place now, both on the pitch and in the stands.
Already, Manuel Pellergrini’s side have equalled the number of home wins (7) picked up in the first two seasons and with a favourable run-in, starting with Saturday’s visit of Huddersfield, you’d expect them to surpass that total with ease.
The sooner than expected return of Manuel Lanzini from a ruptured cruciate will help see to this. The fans favourite has been back to his livewire best in the four games he has featured in so far and provided a much-needed injection of pace and creativity to the ranks.
Did anyone see The Terriers being this bad? They’ve just about scraped past Derby’s record low of 11 points which is some consolation I suppose but it has been one harsh second season for Huddersfield.
Even your glass-half-full type of guy David Wagner, gave up on the idea of any survival bid being mounted. The stark reality of the squad not being up to Premier League standard eventually hit him too and perhaps shows how big an achievement it was in keeping them afloat last year.
Playing for pride
3 wins from 30 games doesn’t equate to a good average and will see them relegated, of that there is no doubt. Any slight glimmer of hope that came by beating Wolves, was well and truly extinguished with subsequent games to Brighton and Bournemouth ending in defeat.
The final eight fixtures are all about playing for pride and a place in Jan Siewert’s plans for next season. Perhaps, though, they’re due a goal for their travelling fans to cheer? Six without scoring means they’re yet to register an away goal in 2019.
It’s true West Ham don’t always make it easy for themselves and so I’m not ruling out Huddersfield getting themselves on the scoresheet - they could be due one after all!
But the Hammers have shown themselves to be reliable at home of late and will come through with the points.
The value backing the straight win isn’t there so how I’ve settled on a match result/Over 1.5 cheeky combo.