The Hammers boss has come under increasing pressure after two heavy defeats in quick succession, and Al Hain-Cole expects his creaky defence to lead to another high-scoring match
The former Molde boss oversaw a 2-1 FA Cup victory over Newcastle in his first game at the helm and is 19/20 (1.95) favourite with bet365 to get off to a winning start in the league.
The sight of a new manager in the opposing dugout will appear ominous for Sam Allardyce, who is skating on thin ice after suffering embarrassing 5-0 and 6-0 cup defeats within the last week, and his side are a 3/1 (4.00) outside shot to oversee a first league win in nine matches.
The hosts surrendered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Sunderland in their last home came, and you can get odds of 12/5 (3.40) on the sides cancelling each other out once again.
These are worrying times for the Hammers, whose problems in front of goal have been compounded by a recent meltdown in their usual defensive prowess.
Allardyce has pointed the finger of blame at an injury list that includes centre backs Winston Reid, James Collins and James Tomkins, leaving full-backs George McCartney and Joey O’Brien to occupy the centre of defence in recent games.
The manager acted swiftly in the January transfer market to bring in Roger Johnson on loan from Wolves, although the addition of a League One centre back hardly seemed to help matters as they crashed to a listless 6-0 defeat against Manchester City on Wednesday, and the Bluebirds will be licking their lips in anticipation when they welcome a makeshift opposition defence to the Cardiff City Stadium.
With Cardiff in good spirits after their victorious FA Cup comeback against Newcastle, a high-scoring game seems likely, and the 19/20 (1.95) odds available on over 2.5 goals going in seem particularly attractive considering the visitors’ defensive woes.
That bet would have paid out in four of the hosts’ last five matches, as well as each of West Ham’s last seven games in all competitions.
|Over 2.5 goals for a 2pt stake at 19/20 (1.95) with bet365
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Al Hain-Cole is an experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.