West Ham will be hoping for a lift on the Premier League front when they entertain Nottingham Forest on Sunday afternoon.
The Hammers have been a curious case this term, as they have excelled in Europe and are through to the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup, but they have struggled for results in the league.
Yes, one win in their past five outings tells its own story. Nevertheless, Kurt Zouma could return to the starting line-up against Forest after sitting out the past two games through injury, and he was an unused substitute for the Europa League win over Olympiacos.
Meanwhile, Forest who sit just a point behind West Ham in 13th spot, bounced back from their 3-0 reversal away to Liverpool with a 2-0 victory at home to East Midlands rivals Aston Villa.
Although neither side has any immediate relegation fears, they won’t want to give an inch, and this should make for a competitive contest.
But let’s get down to business. I will give you the lowdown on this game and supplement the preview with a couple of betting tips for your consideration.
West Ham to get back on track
Despite their malaise in the Premier League over the past six weeks which included a shock 1-0 defeat at home to Everton, West Ham’s quality shouldn’t be understated.
Juggling European and domestic duties can always be a tricky balancing act, but at times, it seems that the standards have slipped.
Forest will want to get up in West Ham’s faces, and while they will have enjoyed the bragging rights over Villa, their form on the road has been dismal. You need to go back to September and a 1-0 win away to Chelsea as to when Forest last picked up three points on their travels.
Moreover, they have found it hard going against West Ham. In the previous two league encounters, the East London outfit won both matches, scoring five unanswered goals.
Perhaps the victory over Olympiacos can breathe life into a flagging league campaign, and West Ham could get back on track against Forest.
For my first pick, I am siding with West Ham to win & BTTS, which is priced at a tempting 11/4 with William Hill.
Jarrod Bowen to have a field day
Jarrod Bowen has been transformed this season, and we’re not just talking about his positional pivot to centre-forward.
The 26-year-old has been goal hungry, and he’s the club leading scorer with seven to his name in the league.
Bowen is well on course to match or eclipse his best return which arrived in the 2011/12 season when he netted 12 times.
Having signed a six-year contract extension last month that will keep him at the London Stadium until 2030, Bowen is clearly enjoying his football.
Forest could find Bowen hard to contain, and to wrap things up, I have sided with Bowen to grab a double, although perhaps he’s been undervalued here with the 12/1 odds displayed by bet365.