West Ham’s Champions League dream can’t be ruled out just yet
A top-four berth is a big ask for West Ham, with Manchester City five points and a vastly superior goal difference ahead of Slaven Bilic’s side going into the Premier League campaign’s final fortnight, but 11/1 on the Irons achieving said feat can’t be ruled out after the weekend’s twists and turns.
Bilic’s boys have Swansea and Manchester United at home in their next two games, finishing up with a road trip to Stoke. City host Arsenal in a week’s time, following what’s sure to be a monumental effort in their Champions League semi-final second leg at Real Madrid, before travelling to the Liberty Stadium on the final day.
Should Manuel Pellegrini’s side slip up against the Gunners, who are unbeaten on the road in the league since February, West Ham’s little ray of light could become a full beam.
The Swans have taken a point from their last four away games, losing their past two by a combined 7-0 scoreline, so they should be dispatched easily – the hosts haven’t lost a Premier League home match since the end of August, taking the laurels in six of the last nine.
Such form should be enough to also see off a sprightly-looking United side, currently a point ahead of the Irons in fifth having played the same number of games, but with an even worse goal difference. They’re 7/2 to go at least one better than their current placing.
Louis van Gaal’s men may have finally found some spark, with the 1-1 draw at home to champions elect Leicester coming off the back of four Premier League wins in five matches, but the Red Devils’ top-flight away form isn’t so rosy, losing three of their past four on the road.
United fans will point to their side’s two draws and a win against the East Londoners so far this term, particularly the 2-1 FA Cup quarter-final replay victory at the Boleyn Ground three weeks ago, but having watched each of those games it’s clear Bilic is due a bit of luck against Van Gaal.
It all adds up to a final day shoot-out between Irons and Citizens. Pellegrini’s men will be expected to throttle Swansea, but after City’s limp efforts in their 4-2 loss at Southampton over the weekend, nothing can be taken for granted.
There has never been a Premier League season remotely like this one, and 11/1 about West Ham gate-crashing the top four looks cracking value to cap it all.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing