West Ham v Sunderland – The London Stadium at 15:00
My second Asian Handicap betting preview for this weekend features two sides struggling for form and fit players, as West Ham host Sunderland on Saturday at the London Stadium.
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It’s difficult trying to figure out what is wrong with the Hammers at the moment, after a great season last year they have struggled massively to gain points.
Slaven Bilic’s side have only won two games from eight so far this campaign and sit 15th in the Premier League table. Their last match ended in a 1-0 win away to Crystal Palace; Manuel Lanzini scoring.
There has been a lot of comments made about the stadium, how fans are far away from the pitch, fights in the crowd and a new atmosphere around the club. Yet, this should only be for a brief period. Surely they should be getting use to it by now, right?
Another problem has been injuries, as seven players are sidelined for Bilic and the returning Aaron Cresswell is suspended for this match.
Furthermore, why Zaza keeps getting played up top is beyond me. I do not rate him and see him as a hindrance. A player who will not work his socks off to help the team strive forward.
The Hammers have only won one match at home this season but their fortune may change this weekend when they host a demoralised Wearside team, especially if Michail Antonio gets back to his scoring ways.
For strugglers Sunderland it is another case of deja vu for them as they sit bottom of the table after eight games with only two points in the bag. New manager David Moyes suffered a 2-0 defeat in his last match and has had no good fortune recently.
On top of this, like West Ham, their injury list is depressing. Nine players sit out for this match, while there are positives with Lamina Kone and Patrick van Aanholt hopeful on making a return in London.
The problem with the Black Cats is that there is no real goal threat, apart from Jermain Defoe, in the team considering they have only scored three in their last five fixtures. Furthermore, on the road Sunderland have only won two matches since the start of 2016. You are not going to survive with a record like that!
It may be time to change formation, as for the last couple of games Moyes has stuck with a 4-5-1. It could be possible to move back to a 4-3-3, or even set-up a 3-5-2 with two wing-backs. That could make the difference with width and numbers in attack as well as keeping it tight at the back.
The last time these two sides met in London, the Hammers won 1-0 with Antonio scoring the winner. However, Sunderland haven’t won a game in East London since 2011 and have only won three of their last 15 encounters in the south.
There are just too many injuries in both squads to understand who will win this game. If I had to back one side it would be West Ham, as they seem keen to put right this poor home form.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: West Ham -0.75 at 1.89 with Betvictor
Prices correct at time of writing.