This betting preview will feature West Ham United. I believe that most supporters and the club in general weren’t happy with the previous campaign.
The potential of the Hammers was higher than the tenth place they earned in the English Premier League. The squad is full of experienced players that should be doing better than that.
We saw glimpses of West Ham’s potential towards the end of the season when the side visibly improved. However, there were a lot of injuries early on, which was part of the team’s struggles.
With some luck and proper preparations in the summer, the Hammers could do much better in 2019-2020. I will take a look at their squad and the betting odds from the best online soccer betting sites.
West Ham 2018-19 Season Review
The expectations before the start of the season were rather high, as West Ham managed to get a couple of really decent signings. The likes of Issa Diop, Lukasz Fabianski, Andriy Yarmolenko, and Felipe Anderson were brought to strengthen the side instantly.
The big investments didn’t help the Hammers initially, as the team lost its first four games. The form of the side did improve slightly after that but stayed inconsistent for the majority of the season. There were some great results like the wins against Manchester United, Everton, and Arsenal, but also plenty of disappointments.
One of the main reasons was the endless list of injuries. Manager Manuel Pellegrini had to cope without Jack Wilshere, Yarmolenko, Andy Carroll, and other squad members for large periods of the previous campaign.
On the bright side, the board and the supporters of West Ham reacted properly and stood behind the manager, unlike other clubs. That seemed to have worked well, as the Hammers did end up in the respectable tenth position.
There were two periods of the season in which the Hammers looked really strong, and that’s what Pellegrini should be aiming at for 2019-2020.
The side has a strong attacking unit with plenty of players that can score goals. When enough of them are fit, West Ham is a formidable force going forward.
That doesn’t break the balance of the team. The likes of Mark Noble and Obiang are expertly protecting the defense, as we saw in the best moments of the season. And yet, Pellegrini has to find a way to get the best out of his men on a more consistent basis.
The other domestic cups didn’t really bring much joy, either, as West Ham was knocked out early in both of them.
What West Ham Needs This Summer
I’m not really sure what will happen with West Ham in the summer. Some of the players are reaching an age that will probably lead to a decline in their performance. Others are injury-prone, so it’s hard to rely on them to stay healthy for most of the season.
The first goal of Manuel Pellegrini and the board would be to decide which of them will stay at the club and who will be sold or released. As it stands, West Ham has the numbers, so some players should go to free up enough money for wages.
One of the potential departures, although an unwanted one from the club’s perspective, is Marko Arnautovic. The Austrian was on the brink of leaving in January but stayed and signed a new deal at the end.
It all looked set, but the rumors are that plenty of clubs will be going after Arnautovic. The likes of Inter Milan will probably try to lure the forward with more money and Champions League soccer this summer. His release clause is £45 million, which is not that big in the modern game, and it could be met by the potential suitors.
Some of the other attacking players will probably leave, too, so if Arnautovic is gone, West Ham will have to replace some forwards.
The other potential issues are related to guys like Zabaleta and Mark Noble, who are at the wrong end of 30. You can’t expect them to play at the highest level for long. As it stands, I see them as valuable squad members that probably have a year or two in them.
It would be good for West Ham to sign younger replacements early so that they can gradually adjust to the team and the league.
The way I see it, the Hammers will need to bring in at least two or three players before the start of the next campaign.
Since a lot was invested in the last summer, the money will have to come from selling some of the current players. That’s not ideal, but on the bright side, I see an excellent core that could bring a lot of joy to the supporters.
West Ham City Betting Odds for 2019-2020
It’s time to finish this betting preview with a look at the odds related to the 2019-2020 season.
West Ham to Finish in the Top 10 of the EPL2.30
888sport is one of the best bookmakers online for the English Premier League, and it has an interesting betting option right now. You can get a price of 2.30 for West Ham to finish in the top 10 of the EPL.
Let’s dig a bit deeper and look at the competition here. I don’t think that the Hammers could somehow overcome the two clubs from Manchester, Liverpool, Arsenal, Spurs, or Chelsea. That’s six places gone and four left.
The other teams that finished above West Ham last season were Leicester, Wolves, and Everton. While I think they are all slightly above the Hammers, that could change in the summer. A couple of good signings and some luck with the injuries would put West Ham in a great position.
Leicester might struggle with the new system that Brendan Rodgers will try to implement, Everton has been inconsistent too, and Wolves will play in Europa League. It won’t be a big surprise if West Ham finishes above any of them.
As for the rest, the likes of Bournemouth, Newcastle, and Crystal Palace will likely fight for a place in the upper half of the table. However, West Ham currently has a stronger squad and should collect more points.
This means that the Hammers don’t need to outperform Wolves, Leicester, and Everton. Even if they finish below this group, beating the rest of the EPL would be enough.
Considering the tempting price of 2.30, I think this is a good bet.
Other Domestic Competitions
I don’t think that West Ham has the defensive consistency to fight for any of the cup competitions. The first strong opponent away from home might be enough to see the Hammers beaten. They will need a lot of luck with the draw to do something special.
The odds for West Ham to win the FA Cup or the League Cup are around 30.00 in both scenarios, so the bookies know that. I think that such prices reflect rather accurately the chances of the club, so I wouldn’t place a wager on them.
I do believe that West Ham is a solid team that should comfortably finish in the middle of the table. With several good decisions in the summer, the club could actually fight for a place in the top eight of the English Premier League.
Do you agree with my assessment, or do you expect the Hammers to fail or explode? Feel free to share your opinion in the comments below.
West Ham Season Preview for 2019/20 With Odds and Predictions
West Ham had a shaky campaign but looked stronger around the end of the English Premier League season. The supporters will expect more in 2019-20.