Sunday, November 27, 2011
Highlight today is probably the match at Anfield between Liverpool and Manchester City, the visitors could open up a huge seven point lead at the top of the EPL with a win, but it might be tough for them to come out firing after the hugely disappointing loss at Napoli in midweek.
On the back of their last Champions League defeat at Bayern they went to Blackburn Rovers the following weekend and were very sluggish for the opening hour, that might seem strange as they won 4-0, but all the goals came late and Rovers lack of ambition and attacking intent, allowed City to ease their way into the game, they will not have that option today.
Three points for the Reds would signal them as a major player for a Champions League spot and King Kenny will have his troops well and truly fired up this afternoon. Liverpool were the last team to defeat City, back in April since when the visitors are unbeaten in 15, winning their last seven in the EPL, in the CL we have seen another side of them and the home side, who won that earlier meeting 3-0 with all the goals coming early, will have been avidly eyeing up the wide open spaces that Napoli and Bayern found wide at the back of the City defence.
King K, got his tactics spot on at Stamford bridge last week in a 2-1 win, with Bellamy, Rodriguez and Suarez really haressing the Chelsea defenders, he was then not afraid to change things around during the game and made two major tactical changes, the last of which resulted in the late winner. Hosts are unbeaten in nine starts in all competitions and eyecatchingly in eight starts under Mr Liverpool, against City, Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea, fixtures for which Dalgleish lives for. Interesting to see if he uses Andy Carroll today, who scored two of the goals here in April, he will certainly be an option from the bench. Home win for me . Liverpool -0.25 ball 2.33 + asian line.
Friday, November 25, 2011
I have four matches to discuss today, but am personally keeping stakes on the small side, tomorrow and Sunday for that matter look to offer fantastic betting opportunities and I am planning two maximum ( two point selections), so want to keep most of my ammunition for then.
Before we get into today's action, for any poker players amongst you and I know that there are quite a few, Poker Tube have put up footage of the kickboxing match between Lex Veldhuis and Bertrand "Elky" Grospellier LINK , which is actually better than these events usually are, although there was only going to be one winner.
Let's start in Serie A where AS Roma travel to the Stadio Friuli to take on Udinese.The hosts had the chance to go top of the table last weekend, but underperformed in a disappointing 2-0 defeat to Parma, that was their third defeat in six starts in all competitions, although they remain a perfect 5-0-0 here in the league. They have another chance to to lead Serie A tonight, if only for 24 hours, facing a Roma side who are breathing down their neck in the table, one place back, albeit four points adrift, in 5th spot, the visitors will be equally as motivated not to let that gap to the top four increase and are finally starting to perform under Luis Enrique. In their five starts since the rather unlucky derby loss to Lazio, they have won three and suffered two very unfortunate losses, where they pretty much dominated most of the play, I detailed those ahead of the 2-0 win at Novara ( see below). They are without Francesco Totti tonight, but deep down I suspect Enrique is not too disappointed about that, his side seen to play better without Mr Roma nowadays and it is very tough to leave him out, so no decision to make is a "bonus". Roma have a fine record in the stadium, winning on four from six visits in Serie A, with five of those also going "over", they have scored in each of their last ten visits, notching three of more on four occasions.
Hosts like to play 3-5-2 and whilst Antonio Di Natale, who looks to be heading for a third straight domestic golden boot award, claims most of the headlines, it is the wingback pairing of Isla and Armero who work tirelessly up and down the flanks who really make them tick, if Roma can stifle most of this threat and Enrique is starting to see the fruition of the work he has done defensively in recent starts, they can get at the very least a share of the spoils tonight. AS Roma + 0.25 ball 1.97 asian line.
We discussed Port Vale's offensive problems briefly on Tuesday ( again, see below), when they lost 1-0 to Grimsby Town, as indicated then, I expect that match was given low priority, but the previous three starts were not and it is now heading for 400 minutes since they last hit the back of the net and these runs have a habit of getting under team's skin and are very difficult to shake off. Home boss Micky Adams has been a very busy man since the game against the Mariners and has brought in three players on loan, the Steveage duo of Guy Madjo and Jennison Myrie-Williams, plus Shane O'Connor from Ipswich Town. I am sure that they will do a job for Vale, but they will not have had time to train with the other players, who not only got back from Grimsby ( it is a long cross country journey) in the early hours of Wednesday morning, but were then ordered by Adams to be at training at 09.00 for not a single, but double training session ! I understand he wants to get a point across, but with another match less than 72 hours later and this, their third start in just six days, that seems madness ! If Vale cannot score, Torquay United cannot stop ! They have won five in a row, scoring 15 goals, with three or more in four of those, they are unbeaten in three visits to Vale Park, winning two and scoring two or more in each. Mood inside their camp is sky high and boss Martin Ling has got them buzzing after a slow start to their season. Torquay United level ball 2.0 + asian line.
In Ligue 2 in France, Guingamp could hardly .......the rest of my notes are censored, my two strongest "red type" selections today are for email readers only , sorry .
Written November 5 :NOVARA- AS ROMA
Roma have slipped down to 13th place in Serie A on the back of two very unlucky defeats, first away to Genoa where they had 68% possession and won the attempts on goal count 17-9 and then at home to Milan (57% and 23-15) where visiting keeper Christian Abbiati was in inspired form and on another night, i Giallorossi would have scored five ! Despite their lowly position, they are only eight points behind leaders Juventus, but cannot afford to lose any further ground to them, or the rest of the chasing pack, therefore, the three points on offer this evening are absolutely essential. Roma coach Luis Enrique says his side are struggling to deal with set plays and have too little pace to trouble top defences, well, the first he should be able to deal with and the second shouldn't be too much of a problem here, as they are not facing one ! Novara are without a cleansheet in ten starts, or a win in six and look booked for a long season of struggle, in this, their first season in the top flight for 55 years. Roma simply have to win this, otherwise Enrique's excuses are going to fall on very deaf ears and with Lazio already in the top three, playing european football and having won the derby game, the maroon half of the Eternal City are not going to be happy. If they play half as well as they did against Genoa they should ease home. 1.5 units AS Roma -0.5 ball 2.05 +
Written November 22 :In the FA Cup replays, League 2 Port Vale travel to Conference side Grimsby Town really struggling for goals, they have not scored in 298 minutes and are missing four offensive players in Mark Richards ( top scorer), Ben Williamson, Lewis Haldane and Andrew Little. The visitors also have big doubts about key players Lee Collins and Doug Loft and coach Micky Adams has already indicated that he has one eye on FRIDAY'S league match against Torquay, that will be their third start in six days and is a more important fixture for the club who desperately crave promotion. Grimsby on a cold midweek night is not the easiest place to go and get a result and Vale will be in for a real battle and might not be up for that. Grimsby Town +0.25 ball 2.0 asian line.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
A very quiet day in this part of the world, but it is very much the quiet before the storm, as we are back to normal over the weekend and I for one, will be glad to see the back of international football for the time being.
There are two quarter finals of the Copa Bridgestone Sudamaricana tonight, no bet for me, but a few words about the Libertad- LDU Quito fixture. Where the hosts trail 1-0 from the first leg, very few teams come away from the Ecuadorian capital with too much, but the Paraguayan champions will be kicking themselves that they conceded an injury time goal, after giving as good as they got for 90 minutes and having the better of the early chances.
It was even more galling as the goal came courtesy of a mis hit cross which sailed over the stranded keeper. I am a little surprised that Libertad were backed overnight from -0.5 1.97 down to 1.82, that now seems very short against a team with as much international experience and success as LDU, especially given that five of the home squad played for Paraguay at Chile on Monday night, one was on the bench, but four started and the three midfielders ( Aquino, Ayala, Samudio) played all 90 minutes, which was a huge blow to the Libertad coach, who has made his feelings known. Obviously each and everyone of these is a key player for the hosts.
Surprisingly, just two members of the LDU team were called up for Ecuador's home game with Peru, which was played in Quito and neither left the bench, so a clear advantage in that respect to the visitors tonight. These are two strong home teams, but Libertad have been done no favours by their own FA and the scheduling of this competition so close to the International fixtures. As I type, the line is now moving back the other way and the bigger quotes for LDU being taken, which makes much more sense. Anyway, no bet for me.
The NFL scheduler has also given a quick turnaround to the New York Jets and Broncos who meet in Denver tonight. The Jets will probably welcome such a quick return to action after losing what could turn out to be a divisional decider to the Patriots at the Meadowlands on Sunday, they were poor with a capital P in that game, quarterback Mark Sanchez had a very bad day at the office and coach Rex Ryan tried to boost his player's confidence by saying that the team have to give him more protection, instead of overly criticising Sanchez, which is good man management. The Jets now trail the Pats by a game and cannot afford to lose this one. Denver coach John Fox has recently bowed to pressure, benching quarterback Kyle Orton in favour of Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow, who has posted three wins from four starts, but don't believe the bottom line, Tebow is far from the finished article and has looked way short of NFL standard at times in those games.
He is a fine athlete and his running skills can get him out of trouble, but that can only go on so long. He threw just 8 passes in the 17-10 win at Kansas over the weekend, completing just two ( admittedly one was for a touchdown), but with the injuries to Knowshon Moreno and Willis McGahee, the Broncos now have very few options on the ground, so Tebow will have to throw more and that spells DANGER. They tried this two games back in a 45-10 thumping by the Detroit Lions and Tebow spent more time on the ground than on two feet. He completed 18 of 39 attempts, was sacked seven times and turned the ball over seven times. Knowing that he will have to throw more again tonight the Jets must be licking their lips in anticipation and they would be my pick giving up the points, but I am saving my real ammunition for the weeeknd. NY Jets -6 points 2.02 Pinnacle/ Vegas line.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
I want to say a few words about the Preston North End- Southend United game. I still feel that when everyone is fit, the hosts are a very good League 1 team, but they have had a terrible time with injuries and to lose Hume, Mellor and Proctor all at the same time has been a disaster, it is hard to play 4-3-3, when your front three are all missing ! North End defend from the front and these three put so much pressure on opponents that the system breaks down when they are absent. Phil Brown is further restricted today as on loan Jonathan Forte has been refused permission to play by Southampton. Confidence is a wonderful thing, but Preston who had it in spades two months ago, have now lost their's and are now without a win inside 90 minutes in nine starts and have conceded 27 goals in their last ten outings. United are full of confidence, riding high at the top of League 2, unbeaten in 12 with eleven wins, including six on the road, the last three without conceding. So, what do I think ? PNE will be much better in a couple of weeks and a team to follow when at least two of the big three are back, for now, United look big at circa 3.75.
I want to get one saturday selection out of the way early, so let's start today with that and it is the FA Cup tie between Maidenhead United and Aldershot Town, which will not surprise many of you ! We talked about United on Tuesday ( reproduced below, there is a theme going on here !) , when we opposed them with Dover Athletic, the visitors ran out very comfortable 4-1 winners, although the Magpies did put some pressure on in a 15 minute spell in the second half. I missed that having only stayed to watch the opening 45 minutes as I was passing the ground at that time and as I reported the next day, Dover had no problems getting in behind the home defence, which is really leaking goals. I appreciate that they were distracted by this big cup tie, which, after all, was one of my arguments for opposing them in midweek, but they are going to really struggle to keep the lively Aldershot front players at bay and I have to side with the visitors. The Shots will be without suspended goalkeeper Ross Worner, but replacement Jamie Young played in the first six games of the season and also when I saw them in pre season and I did not really notice him, so that is a compliment in itself. The Shots had a good run in the Carling Cup, but their league form suffered leading up to the huge game against Manchester United, but they seemed back on track with three wins in a row and ten goals scored, before the 2-0 loss with ten men at Rotherham last week. That was a bad day at the office, but it was all credit to them and their fitness levels, which are very high and something I touched upon in pre season, that they tried to take the game to the Millers two down and short one man. The pitch at York Road will be a little sticky and maybe even heavy and that should eventually play into the Shots hands, after they have weathered a bit of a storm from a fired up United. It is far from a trip into the unknown for Aldershot, who played here many times in their non league days, or especially for visiting boss Dean Holdsworth who had great joy here recently with his former club Newport County, around half the crowd ( 1,000) will be noisy Shots fans and I expect them to go home happy. Holdsworth is very ambitious and is on the radar of a lot of bigger clubs, he will not want a loss here on his CV so we can expect them to be equally as motivated as the hosts. 1.5 units Aldershot Town -0.75 asian line 2.0 .
I am going to start in the Blue Square South, where Maidenhead United host Dover Athletic, we discussed the visitors on Saturday (see below ) and they found a very late winner, not enough to win our bet, but it at least saved our stake. Athletic struggled to break down a very negative Weston team, who came for a point and were trying to waste time almost from the kick off. They are very unlikely to face a similar approach tonight, with United favouring an open style, especially here at York Road. The hosts are without a league win in two months and were 3-0 down at Eastleigh very early on saturday and not for the first time this season. They finally lost 4-1 and were defensively a bit of a shambles, with at least one of the backline playing out of position. That aside, the Magpies are very distracted by a big home FA Cup tie with Aldershot Town this weekend, they normally play home games in front of 250 people and will have a close to capacity crowd of around 10 times that and none of the players wants to miss out on their biggest game in years, especially with the chance to impress a league scout or two. Athletic are fully focused only on tonight's fixture and should have enough about them to collect the points. I have just been to the United ground ( it is around two miles from my home) to try and get some confirmed team news, but it is like the match tonight is not taking place, with only the Aldershot game receiving any attention. Dover Athletic -0.25 ball 1.90 asian line.
Friday, November 04, 2011
LEYTON ORIENT - HARTLEPOOL UNITED
I was originally VERY keen on Orient here, but just heard that Matt Spring and Kevin Lisbie both picked up injuries during last weekend’s 2-0 win at Rochdale and are rated by O’s boss Russell Slade as doubtful for the game. Neither has trained this week and with a growing injury list, the home side are down to the bare bones, they will still be able to put out a decent enough starting eleven, but the bench is very weak and leaves them very few options. This is a shame, as Hartlepool are in a real slump and missing key players of their own, these are very much two clubs heading in opposite directions and I would have loved to have side with the O's at odds against. Six weeks ago the East London club were bottom of the table, with just three points ( all draws) from a possible 30, whilst Pool were flying high and unbeaten in 4th spot, 16 points ahead of Orient. The visitors have since gone 1-0-5 and the hosts 4-2-0, the gap is down to just five points and four league places. This was not entirely unexpected, all season United have been making the most of very few attempts on goal and as I pointed out a couple of months back, sooner or later this was going to catch up with them. United have still only managed a division low 122 attempts on goal, with a paltry 48 on target.
Orient have some history of runs like this, last year they were 23rd with a 2-3-6 record in the first week of October, five months later they were on the playoff fringes, having gone 13-8-2 through the mid season, that equates to 94 points over the full term and would have seen them finish ahead of Southampton who are now on the verge of a return to the EPL. They finally missed out on the playoffs by a single point. I do not know if they "over train" in the off season,which leaves them "leggy" early in the campaign, but I have seen that happen year after year to certain teams, so something might be wrong, anyway, they are not a team I would want to oppose at present, Russell Slade has got them buzzing and playing with huge confidence. I will put this up in black type, but if either Spring or Lisbie made the line up,even the bench, I would make them a firm bet. Leyton Orient -0.5 ball 2.14 asian line.
ATHLETIC BILBAO - BARCELONA OK, we all know that it is definitely not a profitable policy to oppose Barcelona on even a semi-regular basis, but I have to chance a little on Athletic Bilbao at home getting such a huge handicap start. We have discussed Athletic several times recently ( two are reproduced below) and they are now unbeaten in nine starts, including a 1-0 win at Salzburg on Thursday night , where they replaced two of their young stars after taking the lead, with the weekend fixture clearly in mind. Last ten h2h meetings here have ended 1-4-5, with a 10-15 goal difference, which is probably as good as most against the best club side in world football, Barce have only posted one two goal victory in that sequence and three of the last six have ended all square. The Catalan giants have not exactly set La Liga alight on the road domestically, drawing at Valencia and Sociedad and winning by the minimum margin at Gijon and Granada and the 6.50 offered for the draw here is calling me like the song of the sirens.
However, I will play safe and take 1.25 units Athletic Bilbao +1.75 ball asian line 1.95 +, which is really a very attractive price IMO. It will be extremely interesting to see how Iker Munian fares in this, he was an unused substitute in both meetings with Barcelona last season and he will get a closer look at them on Sunday, should be fun !
Thursday October 27th
One of those was Athletic Bilbao (see below) and I am going to start with their attractive home fixture with Atletico Madrid. They started on fire in the Osasuna game, racing into an early 3-0 lead and coasting home despite the visitors claiming an injury time consolation goal. Bilbao have subsequently continued their recovery with a draw at Mestalla and can move into the top eight with three points this evening. Wildly talented Iker Muniain scored in both matches and looks a player to build a franchise around. Now that coach Marcelo Bielsa has got his team up and running and signing from his hymn sheet, I do not want to rush to oppose Athletic, a top four push is certainly not out of the question, they were sixth last year anyway and it is hard to make a case for Valencia, Sevilla and especially Villarreal being stronger this time round. With a tough November ahead, including a visit from Barcelona and trip to Seville, they should be extra motivated for points tonight and at Gijon over the weekend and this looks a very good time to be playing Atletico, who are another potential rival for a high finish. The capital's second club started the season well enough, but a heavy loss to Barce appears to have knocked their confidence and they have lost their way, they are without a win in six, or a goal from open play in four starts ( they scored against Mallorca from the penalty spot), or of any kind on the road domestically. Star 40m euro striker Radamel Falcao has not been firing and is said to be struggling with gastroenteritis over recent days. Hosts will be without Carlos Gurpegi for several months, but the veteran midfielder has been a fringe player under Bielsa and I do not see this as the loss it would once have been. I have to stick with the hosts Athletic Bilabo -0.25 ball 2.12 asian line.
Bilbao: Iraizoz, Toquero, Aurtenetxe, Amorebieta, San José, David López, Iturraspe, Llorente, De Marcos, Gabilondo, Raúl, Susaeta, Iraola, Muniain, Ander Herrera, Ekiza, Javi Martínez, Ibai , Ruiz and Galarreta.
Atletico: Courtois, Sergio Asenjo, Godín, Antonio López, Filipe Luis, Sìlvio, Álvaro Domínguez, Miranda, Mario Suárez, Salvio, Reyes, Arda Turan, Paulo Assunçao, Gabi, Koke, Diego, Adrián, Falcao and Pizzi.
Written Monday October 17th
In La Liga we have an interesting Basque derby game between Athletic Bilbao and Osasuna, hosts are the big power in the region and after seeing off Sociedad (another local rival) just before the international break, will be keen to follow up and do the double. I suspect they could have done without the break, as that was their first win of the campaign and it followed on from an impressive 2-0 defeat of big spending PSG in the Europa League. New coach Marcelo Bielsa is a real one off and it has taken a little time to get his ideas across, but the benefits are starting to show and we can expect Bilbao to come on very strong in the next couple of months. Bielsa is very meticulous, he personally checks pitch measurements before every away game and has been known to give four hour press conferences ! He favours a high pressing game, with the strikers putting a lot of pressure on opposing defenders, whilst at times this looks a fairly rigid formation, he makes a lot of subtle changes during the course of the game, which sometimes give them five forward players. 18 yo Iker Muniain has been outstanding in the last two seasons and he has been very influential in the last two games, setting up a lot of chances for the front three. Far more options for the coach tonight with the return of big summer signing Ander Herrera from injury and Ekiza to the centre of defence after suspension and this is a young, developing team of huge potential. Fernando Llorente who has found his scoring boots recently, missed training twice last week, but is named in the squad and Bielsa has a habit of sometimes training strikers separately from the rest of the group in any case, so you can never be sure with him, I told you he was a one off ! You always get a tough physical challenge from Athletic and the visitors have really struggled here in recent seasons, not scoring in five visits and losing the last four. Osasuna are not great travellers at the best of times and probably still have nightmares about their recent 8-0 loss at Barcelona, where their goalkeeper was their star performer and they look a little fragile. Goals are always a problem for them, just five this season and only Gijon of the other top ten clubs scored fewer last season, defensively they are very short of numbers with four players out, two of whom (Raitala and Ruben) started in the last league game, when they conceded two at home to struggling Mallorca, the second when the visitors were already reduced to ten men. They have added Roversio to the squad, but he was said to be a big doubt a couple of days ago and including him, every available defensive player has travelled. I like this home win a lot, but am not madly keen on these Monday night home televised favourites, having said that, everything else looks in Athletic's favour and they desperately need a home win in the league, especially ahead of tougher games against Valencia and Atletico. Just one unit Athletic Bilbao -0.5 ball 1.86, but I might press this early in the game if signs are good and 2.0 + becomes available.
Bilbao :Iraizoz, Toquero, Aurtenetxe, Amorebieta, San José, David López, Iturraspe, Llorente, De Marcos, Gabilondo, Raúl, Susaeta, Iraola, Gurpegi, Muniain, Ander Herrera, Ekiza, Javi Martínez y Ibai.
Osasuna :Andrés Fernández, Riesgo, Marc Bertrán, Damià, Lolo, Miguel Flaño, Roversio, Sergio, Annunziata, Cejudo, Lamah, Nekounam, Puñal, Raúl García, Timor, Ibrahima, Sola y Nino.
Tuesday, November 01, 2011
NOTTINGHAM FOREST - READING
Overnight line: Forest -0.25 ball 2.07 -1.85 2.25 goals : 1.86- 2.04
Movement :Royals have been shaded into 1.81 and the "over" have drifted slightly.
Confirmed team news: Bit strange as Manset starts and Church drops to the bench, very strong bench for the Royals.Ishmael Miller misses out for Forest and is to have surgery.
Reading: Federici, Cummings, Mills, Pearce, Gorkss, Karacan, Leigertwood, McAnuff, Robson-Kanu, Le Fondre, Manset.
Subs: McCarthy, Harte, Kebe, Hunt, Church
Forest: Camp, Chambers(C), Morgan, Lynch, Cunningham, Gunter, Moussi, McGugan, Majewski, Tudgay, Findley.
Attempts on goal this season :135-147
Forest are 3-7-4 in the first half, conceding a league high 14 goals before the break. They have lost nine points from winning positions and lost four of the seven matches in which they have got in all square at the half.
Reading have yet to win a first half, which is hardly surprising with just the one goal scored before the break, going in with a 0-11-3 record, however, they have only gone on to lose two of those eleven draws.
Hosts lost their first game under new coach Steve Cotterill at the weekend, it will be interesting to see how they bounce back against the Royals who are unbeaten in eight. Hosts will have Guy Moussi back from suspension.
SOUTHAMPTON - PETERBOROUGH UNITED
Overnight line : Saints -1 ball 1.94-1.98 3 goal line : 1.83-2.07
Movement : Huge support for the Saints, down to 1.74 and it was lower earlier in the day, the "over" has been clipped accordingly but only by a minimal margin.
Confirmed team news:
Saints: Davis, Richardson, Fonte, Hooiveld, Harding, Chaplow, Hammond, Schneiderlin, Lallana, Guly, Lambert. Subs: Bialkowski, A. Martin, Cork, De Ridder, Connolly.
Peterborough: Jones, M. Lewis, Bennett, Zakuani, McCann, Rowe, Thompson, Kennedy, Frecklington, Tunnicliffe, Boyd, Taylor. Subs: J. Lewis, Ball, Sinclair, Thompson, Kearns.
Attempts on goal this season : 180 -194 ( Championship high)
Saints as you might expect for the league leaders are strong in the first half, with an 8-4-2 record, eventually winning all eight when leading at the break, they had a similar record last season and clearly not a side against whom you want to be chasing. Perhaps surprisingly, they have drawn a league high eight second half's.
Posh fans have seen a league high 24 goals before the break. Whilst Grant McCann has had the most of their many attempts on goal, close behind are George Boyd, who is also their main provider and Lee Tomlin, Boro play much better when both of these two start.
Visitors are without a cleansheet since I wore short trousers to school and have conceded 14 goals in their last six starts.
Hosts could open up a six point lead at teh top of the table tonight. Lee Tomlin misses out with the second match of his three game suspension.
It all points to Saints, but I have some doubts, but it will be tough for Posh without Tomlin.
WEST HAM UNITED - BRISTOL CITY
Overnight line: West Ham -1.25 ball 1.85-2.05 3 goal line : 2.08 - 1.82
Movement : City popular with the big handicap start, down to 1.93, goal line is unchanged.
Confirmed team news:
West Ham United: Green, O'Brien, Reid, Tomkins, McCartney, Faubert, Noble, Nolan, Sears, Piquionne, Baldock
Subs: Kurucz, Faye, Diop, Hall, Cole
Bristol City: James, Skuse, Fontaine, Nyatanga, McGivern, Cisse, Elliott, Kilkenny, Woolford, Adomah, Maynard
Subs: Gerken, Wilson, Bolasie, Clarkson, Pitman
West Ham are an impressive 7-1-0 when leading at the half and the top two teams in the Championship, clearly know how to finish the job, once they get their noses in front. Hosts are 8-5-1 in the opening 45 mins, conceding a league low three goals in the process. However, they have actually only won three second half periods and one ( home to Portsmouth), which we watched was very fortunate. City have conceded a league high 19 goals after the break and have collect only two points from a possible 18 when going in at the half all square.
Bristol City striker Nicky Maynard scored an injury-time winner to beat Barnsley and give Derek McInnes his first win at the weekend and I am sure they would have liked a home game to build on that, instead a trip to East London and the highflying Hammers, however, Fat Sam's boys have looked vunerable here at times.