Something for the weekend

Matt Briggs picks out value on the early football coupon and reckons West Ham should be odds-on to beat Stoke.

Last Updated: 26/08/13 at 11:17 Post Comment

Kevin Nolan and his West Ham team-mates should be backed

Kevin Nolan and his West Ham team-mates should be backed

Barclays Premier League

The big punters will be looking to get with West Ham next weekend and the 11/10 about them sinking Stoke is unlikely to last long.

The Hammers were unlucky not to take all three points away at Newcastle, but they're back on home soil on Saturday against a Stoke side who struggled to edge out Crystal Palace last time out. West Ham created a hatful of chances in the North East and a similar performance back in the capital should be enough to sink Mark Hughes' Potters.

Last season the Hammers were a reliable home outfit with nine wins from their 19 games and after a 2-0 home win against Cardiff first time out they should be odds-on shots to get past Stoke, who only won twice on the road all season. The visitors have a new manager in Hughes, but the vast majority of the squad are the same and there has been no improvement yet on Tony Pulis' efforts from last season.

Sky Bet Championship

Birmingham have made a dreadful start to the Championship season and they look plenty short enough at 5/4 to see off Ipswich next weekend.

Defeats to Watford, Brighton and Leicester suggest that Lee Clark has assembled a squad which might well struggle to get to grips with the best in the second tier and they might well struggle to topple the Tractor Boys.

The visitors themselves have lost three of their four games, but defeats at Reading and QPR can be excused, while Saturday's defeat to Leeds could have gone either way with the hosts on top for large spells in the first half. Ipswich look a value pick at 11/5 against a Blues team who managed only seven home wins last season and look likely to endure another season of struggle.

Sky Bet League 1

Sheffield United have endured two defeats in three League One games and they look ripe for another defeat against MK Dons at Bramall Lane.

The Blades look well short of firepower with their strikers yet to score a goal in four league games and 13/10 about them seeing off the Dons looks one to steer clear of.

Karl Robinson's men have made a solid start with two draws in their two away games - against Shrewsbury and Preston - and they are more than capable of nicking a narrow victory in South Yorkshire at a tasty 11/4.

Sky Bet League 2

Torquay chalked up an impressive 2-1 win at last season's play-off finalists Northampton on Saturday and they look well worth an interest at 5/4 to beat hapless Hartlepool.

Pools have chalked up just one point from their four games - a goalles draw against York - and they are yet to score a goal in the league. With that in mind they look set for another afternoon of struggle and a long pointless journey back up north.


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