Burnley boss to show them Howe it's done
There have been no shocks in the FA Cup this weekend but that could all change on Monday evening when relegation-threatened West Ham host a resurgent Burnley led by new boss Eddie Howe.
The Hammers were on the verge of a Wembley final in the Carling Cup last month when leading at Birmingham only to let the lead slip and they were beaten in Extra time. They're a big price of 25/1 to make up for that disappointment by lifting the FA Cup in May.
They are Even money to get past Burnley which at first glance looks a generous price for a Premier League outfit against a Championship side but if there's ever a side capable of producing an embarrassing result then it's West Ham. A draw would suit Burnley, that's 23/10 whilst an away win is 14/5.
When Owen Coyle left Burnley last year many found the decision to appoint Brain Laws to the post a strange one and they were ultimately proved right as Laws was relieved of his duties in January following a run of poor form.
The decision to appoint Eddie Howe from Bournemouth however is seen as a much shrewder move and the young manager is already showing signs that he is turning the club around. The 33-year old was approached by a number of clubs in January to become their new boss, such is his reputation in the game, eventually choosing to take over at Burnley on a three and half year deal.
Since joining the club Burnley have produced some impressive displays, particularly on their travels with wins at Portsmouth, Watford and most recently a creditable draw at Cardiff and they are now within touching distance of a play-off spot. That will be the main aim this season but they will still be up for a good cup run and the extra revenue that brings.
Burnley have a proud history and were founder members of the Football League, they have won FA Cup but that came as far back as 1914. They are 66/1 to end that barren run this season.
West Ham have been inconsistent in recent weeks, they secured a good win at Blackpool before losing at home to Birmingham then staging a fightback to draw 3-3 at West Brom after being 3-0 down. It's 66/1 that they play out their 2nd consecutive 3-3 draw. Inconsistent form is an improvement on their early season disasters but it seems Avram Grant is hanging onto his job at the moment and a couple of poor results could lead to a change.
West Ham were thought to be lining up Martin O'Neill to take over the job and Grant looked on his way before O'Neill pulled out of the running to the job much to the embarrassment of the board of directors.
Whilst things have been poor for the club on the pitch they did receive some good news when receiving the recommendation of the Olympic Legacy Committee that they should become the new tenants of the stadium following the 2012 games. It's 11/10 that they are in the Championship by the time they play their first game in the ground. Avram Grant isn't expected to be around to see it, he's 100/30 to be the boss for that game.
Looking at the history of the fixture the omens aren't good for Burnley, there have been two FA Cup meetings between West Ham and Burnley with the Londoners and winning both ties by scoring three goals. It's 16/1 for the Hammers to win 3-0.
The Hammers also have a good record against lower league sides, winning their last nine FA Cup matches against lower division teams.
Former Manchester United player Chris Eagles was the hero for Burnley in the last round scoring twice as they saw off Burton Albion 3-1. He is 9/1 to score the first goal at Upton Park and 14/1 to bag another brace.
For the Hammers Demba Ba has been amongst the goals scoring twice in their fightback at West Brom last weekend, he can be backed at 9/2 to score first and a tempting 6/5 to net at anytime during the game.
Looking at some of the different markets we offer can always enhance your enjoyment of the action. The OPTA stats show that five of the last six goals Burnley have conceded in the FA Cup have come in the 80th minute or later. You can back the first West Ham goal to be scored after the 75th minute at 15/2.
If you fancy this one to be a fiery affair you can bet on red card to be shown in the match at odds of 4/1. The beauty of that bet is that your bet is never dead until the final whistle.
Burnley have become a difficult side to beat recently and I expect them to earn themselves at least replay at Turf Moor therefore I would back the draw at 23/10. In the correct score market 1-1 at 13/2 looks like the best bet whilst I would also have a small investment on West Ham to be winning at half-time but the game to end in a draw at odds of 14/1.
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