As was the case on the other side of the draw, these are two teams with differing fortunes. The financial juggernaut of Manchester City, coming up against a small relegation threatened east London side. But that doesn’t really show the true nature of this match. West Ham may be mired in the relegation dog fight, but that’s not for the want of spending some money (the fees might not be that headline grabbing, but the wages will be).
Of course following West Ham’s humbling 5-0 reverse to Nottingham Forrest in the FA Cup at the weekend there is a real need for a quick bounce back. That the last win West Ham had was in the last round of this cup is damming in itself.
As Allardyce has been quick to mention (repeatedly…….to anyone that will listen), he has some injuries to first team players. That’s nothing new for managers to have to handle, it has always been the case and it always will be the case. What separates some managers from others is the way they handle those injuries. Allardyce has basically said that the injuries have put them where they are, in essence that those still fit aren’t good enough. Motivational chat at its best. Top that off with stating the kids weren’t good enough either after the Forrest debacle and you’ve got a man on the edge of his job (confirmed by a vote of confidence from the owners).
Pellegrini on the other hand has weathered an early storm in his Manchester City career, and an inability to win on the road, to steer the club through in every competition into the new year. Whilst there are injuries to key men such as Aguero, and some more may be rested following the hectic festive schedule, there is plenty of depth to the squad to continue their impressive 100% home record this season.
So what are the chances of West Ham beating Manchester City? Slim to none. So where does that put Allardyce, will he be sacked? Probably not based on the result of this match, it’s the premier league where the results are required. But anymore whining about a lack of squad depth and another limp performance might make the crowds and the players even less likely to support him.
In terms of odds, the bookies have Manchester City as the outright favourite both to win this match, and to go through overall, best priced at 1/5 on with PaddPower, while West Ham can be backed at 18/1 at Coral.
So with the odds so short on the favourite, and West Ham having little hope (despite beating Tottenham in the last round) where are we going to get our betting value from? Are there any special football offers for the Manchester City vs. West Ham match?
Glad you asked, yes there are and we’ve noted some of the best below
- 138.com have money back if West Ham score first
- Betfair allow you to select your own cashback refund from a selection of triggers (Man City lead 3-1 at any point, goal in the first ten minutes, red card at any time, Yaya Toure scores first or Alvaro Negredo scores in both halves)
- PaddyPower will refund losing bets on many markets if Sunderland win
- Ladbrokes have red card redemption
- Betfred will refund if the match ends 1-1, and also have the popular double delight and hat-trick heaven
You can find all the latest offers from around the web on the Today’s Offers page here.
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Sky sports 1 will be showing the match live from 19:30. You can also stream it live from Bet365 provided you have a positive balance in your account.
Highlights of the match will be shown on BBC1, Wednesday 8th of January at 23:15.
We've also done a preview of the Sunderland vs. Manchester Utd first leg for your reading and betting pleasure.