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Ba and O’Neil entering West Ham’s survival mission

| 25.01.2011

West Ham know that they need to score more goals to help boost their chances of Premier League survival this season and there is the possibility that five new attacking faces could arrive before the closing of the transfer window.

The Hammers currently find themselves at the head of the Premier League betting to be relegated this season at 4/7, but are only two points away from moving out of the bottom three.

Averaging exactly a goal a game across their opening 24 fixtures this season is one of the reasons for their lowly position and is an area that manager Avram Grant is keen to strengthen.

Senegalese striker Demba Ba has all but signed on loan and has managed six Bundesliga goals for Hoffenheim this season.

His power and directness in attack could prove useful, particularly if Grant decides to employ a counter attacking strategy.

Meanwhile, Gary O’Neil has arrived from Middlesbrough on a permanent deal and will add greater consistency to the midfield.

Elsewhere, West Ham are considering adding to their options in the wide positions by completing a deal with Blackburn for El Hadji Diouf, while there is also speculation that there is interest in Tottenham’s Robbie Keane and Tuncay from Stoke.

Finding a decent goalscorer could be pivotal if West Ham are to survive as Frederic Piquionne is currently their leading Premier League scorer with six goals, while midfielder Scott Parker is the only other player to have netted more than three.

However, West Ham can put their survival plan on the backburner for the time being as their next game is the second leg of their Carling Cup semi final with Birmingham.

West Ham’s betting odds are 8/13 to qualify, which they can do with a win or a draw after claiming a 2-1 victory in the opening leg at Upton Park.

A £25 stake on West Ham drawing 1-1 with Birmingham would return £137.50. New customers can sign up here for a free £25 bet.



Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.