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Rupert Wyman 27th Aug 2010 - 18:49

West Ham to Grant United easy win

It's been a tough start for Avram Grant as new West Ham boss and it looks likely to get worse before it gets better as they travel to Old Trafford this weekend.

After a heavy opening day defeat to Aston Villa, who's form since that  easy win has been awful, they crashed to an embarrassing home defeat to Bolton much to the dismay of the Upton Park faithful. There was little cheer in the league cup either with an unconvincing win over Oxford, relying on a last minute winner from Scott Parker to progress to the third round.

All this mounts pressure on Avram Grant with the jury still out on whether he is the right man for the job of moving the East London club forward. Grant appeared to a good job at Chelsea but he inherited a squad of players that would be hard to fail with and he must be the only manager to enhance his reputation after finishing bottom of Premier League as he did at Portsmouth.

The odds were so heavily stacked in his favour at Chelsea and so heavily against him at Fratton Park that we may only know of his true managerial ability when he has had a decent spell at West Ham.

He is currently second favourite to be the next premiership manager to leave at 4/1 behind Wigan's Roberto Martinez. One thing in Grant's favour is that he was the choice of West Ham Chairman David Sullivan to replace Gianfranco Zola in the summer so should be able to rely on the support of the board for a little while yet.

Reinforcements are badly needed if they are to avoid a season long relegation dogfight and Grant has completed the signing of Victor Obinna on loan although he is unlikely to feature at old Trafford. He is also understood to have made a late bid for Portsmouth captain Marc Wilson who is a target for Stoke.

Despite the transfer activity it's difficult to see them turning their poor start round in this game and Man United (2/13) are well fancied to complete an easy victory. Our podcast team have United to win by three or more goals (Evens) as part of their weekly treble and it's hard to argue with that one.

After Chelsea's big win at Wigan last week William Hill paid out a six figure sum to lucky punters who backed them to win by five or more goals. We have the same bet for this match, United to win by five or more goals at 7/1.

United were easy winners against Newcastle in the opening fixture and will be disappointed to have dropped points with a draw at Fulham, particularly after missing a late penalty. Having lost at Fulham the past two seasons though the more positive amongst the Old Trafford fans may look on it as a point gained.

Paul Scholes has been in imperious form this season and he is 8/1 to open the scoring against the Hammers. The 35 year old has been the red devils best player this season and it's hard to see the visitors containing him. He is a generous 11/4 to score anytime. Wayne Rooney will be hoping to return to form and is 9/4 to score two or more and 10/1 for a hat trick.

Unfortunately for Hammers fans I can't see a shock here and expect United to win well. I will be going for over 4.5 goals at 9/4 which should also ensure a payout if West Ham manage to get a goal or two.

The Match kicks off at 17:30 and is live on ESPN.


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