Friday Championship Betting Preview: West Ham to defeat Barnsley

Sam Allardyce may be struggling to win over the Hammers' fans but Adam Bate thinks his team can pick up all three points against Keith Hill's men on Saturday
It may seem bizarre that the pressure is mounting on Sam Allardyce at West Ham while there is still a realistic chance of automatic promotion. While Allardyce may point to the fact that his side have lost just twice in 2012, his detractors can single out a turgid style of football and a run of six home games without a victory.

The visit to Barnsley at least removes the stress of an increasingly anxious home crowd but expectations will be high nonetheless. West Ham are 4/5 (1.8) odds-on favourites with Paddy Power to record a victory in this game.

Barnsley are a side seemingly staggering their way to the end of the season. Since picking up four back-to-back wins late last year, the Tykes have lost 14 of their last 20 and are rock bottom of the Championship form table.

Barnsley are 10/3 (4.33) outsiders here and the draw is available with Paddy Power at 5/2 (3.5).

In the goalscorers market, it is tricky to find a stand-out pick. West Ham’s plethora of striking options make it difficult to predict the likely starters but Carlton Cole is perhaps the best bet at 4/1 (5.0) to net first.

Barnsley are proving far more predictable. With only three goals in their last nine games things have been bleak at Oakwell, but Craig Davies has bagged two of them and is 13/2 (7.5) to add the first in this game to that run.

In the other markets, it is tempting to think West Ham will be the only team to score in this game. Barnsley have netted one in six but have kept just two clean sheets in 23 matches.

The Hammers have scored in all but one of their last 19. Bet against both teams finding the net in this one at Evens (2.0) with Paddy Power.

This all leads to the conclusion that West Ham should win to nil and their most common away scoreline has indeed been the 2-0 win. The Value Bet is to back that outcome at 15/2 (8.5).

Both teams to score? "No" at Evens (2.0) with Paddy Power
West Ham to win 2-0 at 15/2 (8.5) with Paddy Power

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Adam Bate is a professional freelance journalist who specialises in football and betting. He is editor of GhostGoal which can be found here - you can also follow Adam on Twitter