Saturday, December 15, 2018

Prediction: West Ham vs Cardiff

Verdict: West Ham to Win to Nil

Best Odds: 15/8

Bookmaker: bet365

With only their second win in over two months, West Ham will be keen to build upon the Newcastle triumph as they prepare to welcome struggling Cardiff on Tuesday. The Welsh charges travel to London in high spirits following a 2-1 win over Wolves and will also be highly motivated.

West Ham

The Hammers endured a difficult start to the season which hammered them down – pun intended – with four successive defeats. The London-based club are, however, making a constant improvement under their new boss Manuel Pellegrini and are now looking to gain consistency that would help them push it up to the upper half of the table.

West Ham currently sit in 13th with only 15 points after 14 rounds of action. They will be keen to head into the busy festive period on a high and will definitely be looking to record back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time this season when they welcome Cardiff. They will have every right to hope so as well given their favourable record against the Welsh. The Hammers won last three matches against Cardiff on home turf while the winning run extends to six consecutive triumphs against the Tuesday rivals. Squad problems could pose the biggest threat for the hosts in this match, however, knowing that West Ham have a long list of absentees to account for.

Team News

Winston Reid, Manuel Lanzini, Carlos Sanchez, Andriy Yarmolenko and Ryan Fredericks are all ruled out for the occasion.

Aaron Cresswell is an injury doubt after taking a knock against Newcastle. Grady Diangana, Jack Wilshere and Pedro Obiang could get their chance against Cardiff.

Cardiff

Cardiff deserve great credit for the way they are laughing in the face of adversity this season. It was a difficult start of the season for the Welsh side and with five defeats on the trot towards the end of October, it seemed as if though Cardiff would have a hard time getting their footing back.

Without a win all season and a goal down to fellow strugglers Fulham, it was grit and determination that got Cardiff their resounding 4-2 win. With a bursting morale and hearts pounding through their chests, the Bluebirds went on to lose three but win two and currently sit above the relegation zone, in 16th. A 2-1 triumph over Wolves last time out will have been a huge encouragement ahead of the trip to London and there is no doubt that improving Cardiff will now look to boost their away record and register the first win on the road thus far in the campaign. It would be the first time they won at West Ham since 2011 as well. All of this is easier said than done but the hope is the one thing that can’t be taken away from them.

Team News

Jazz Richards, Greg Cunningham, Joe Bennet and Kenneth Zahore are all sitting on the sidelines for the Tuesday game.

Bobby Neill is pushing for a place in the starting line-up even though Neil Warnock is not expected to make any (or too many) changes to the team that started the 2-1 win over Wolves last time out.

Key Factors to Consider

  • West Ham have won last three home matches against Cardiff
  • The Welsh side lost all six previous encounters with the Hammers
  • Hosts have yet to win back-to-back matches this season
  • The visitors are without a single win on the road thus far in the campaign
  • Both sides failed to score in 4 of the last 5 meetings between these two sides

Conclusion

Both West Ham and Cardiff will have plenty to fight for following a successful weekend in the Premier League. Sitting in the bottom half of the table, both rivals are desperate of points and especially ahead of the busy festive season. The hosts are trusted to see this through, however, as the recent history between the two sides clearly suggests so.

Verdict: West Ham to Win to Nil

Best Odds: 15/8

Bookmaker: bet365

 

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