Championship leaders West Ham underlined their title credentials in midweek as they beat promotion hopefuls Blackpool 4-1 at Bloomfield Road despite going down to ten men and having to play outfield player Henri Lansbury in goal for around 40 minutes.
The victory took the Hammers back to the top of the table and they can ensure they stay at the summit by beating Crystal Palace at Upton Park, a result Blue Square rate at 4/6.
Nevertheless, it won’t be easy for Sam Allardyce’s given that the Eagles ran out 4-0 winners in their last match and indeed the visitors’ resilience means that backing the hosts when they’re a goal behind at 9/5 in Paddy Power’s handicaps or tackling William Hill’s 8/5 for them to lead at the end of each half, is a bit of a risk.
Instead it’s worth considering a flutter on West Ham new boy Nicky Maynard. The former Bristol City striker opened his Hammers account in midweek on his first start for the club and Stan James quote the 25 year-old at 9/2 to add to that goal with the opener in this one.
In second and third at present are Southampton and Birmingham and the pair can keep the pressure on West Ham by both picking up maximum hauls. Saints are 11/10 courtesy of Coral to defeat a Watford team beaten 4-0 at Palace last weekend while Birmingham are 8/13 (Betfred) to send struggling Nottingham Forest home empty-handed and the two promotion-chasers come in at 12/5 in a double via Coral.