With all the pressure on Sam Allardyce's Hammers for a return to the Premier League, Phil Kitromilides is backing the Tangerines in the Draw No Bet market at WembleyThe Championship play-off final is always an intriguing match, quite simply because of what is on offer and the disparity in rewards for the winner and loser.
Victory brings Premier League status and considerable financial rewards, while defeat brings only despondency. Yet this year's match sees the extremes of the spectrum heightened even further with two sides having very different aspirations.
West Ham are priced at evens (2.00) with William Hill to claim the victory which would see them promoted straight back to the Premier League where their fans and players alike believe a club of their stature should be.
Missing out on automatic promotion to Southampton and Reading could be considered a major failing on the Hammers' part, and adds only more pressure to Saturday's game at Wembley. Quite simply, both on and off the pitch West Ham cannot afford to miss out on promotion.
Blackpool meantime are available at 5/4 (2.25) to be promoted, and make a shock instant return to the top flight themselves. It is fair to say that they have over-achieved in reaching this season's play-off final when many expected them to fade into mid-table obscurity.
They have nothing to lose and everything to gain, and that makes them a dangerous opponent for West Ham, despite the Hammers knowing that over the course of the Championship season they beat the Seasiders by an aggregate score of 8-1.
That of course, counts for nothing, and if anyone can motivate his side for one final glorious push it is Blackpool's manager Ian Holloway.
The price of 6/4 (2.40) for Blackpool Draw No Bet, is well worth some consideration, while those looking for a value bet could consider backing the veteran Kevin Philips to open the scoring at 15/2 (8.50).
The 38-year-old has proved an inspired signing by netting 17 goals this season, and Championship play-off
finals often provide the perfect setting for veteran strikers to score important goals.
|Blackpool (Draw No Bet) at 6/4 (2.50) with William Hill
Kevin Philips to score first 15/2 (8.50) William Hill
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Phil Kitromilides is a sports broadcaster working on radio and TV in London and Madrid, you can also follow Phil on Twitter