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Relegation threatened West Ham lose influential leader for run-in

| 21.02.2011

West Ham suffered a major blow in their race to avoid relegation when it was confirmed Matthew Upson will miss the remainder of the season due to an Achilles injury.

The Hammers skipper hasn’t featured since West Ham’s defeat to Birmingham a fortnight ago, and it was that loss that saw punters back West Ham for relegation.

At 4/7 to go down, only Wigan (1/2) are shorter in the Premier League relegation odds and having lost their captain and experienced centre-back, West Ham’s Premier League future is looking bleak.

West Ham take a break from Premier League action on Monday night when they take on Burnley in the fifth round of the FA Cup and the Hammers are a great price to win at 10/11 considering they are unbeaten in nine FA Cup matches with lower league opposition.

Despite missing out on a place in the Carling Cup final there’s no doubt Avram Grant has the ability to lead West Ham to an FA Cup final appearance having done so with Portsmouth, but an FA Cup winners medal couldn’t save Portsmouth from relegation that season.

But after that West Ham face two crucial home games against Liverpool and Stoke City that could define their season.

A return of four points from those two games would put West Ham in a healthy position to beat the drop as West Brom and Blackpool linger perilously close to the relegation zone.

West Brom’s home draw with Wolves makes them a huge price at 11/8 to go down, and with consecutive away games at Birmingham and Stoke before home games with Arsenal and Liverpool, Roy Hodgson has a huge job on his hands saving the Baggies from relegation.

As the race to avoid relegation intensifies, any club towards the foot of the table should be worried about their Premier League future.

A £25 stake on West Brom being relegated would return £59.37. New customers can sign up here for a free bet worth £25.



Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.