Stats point towards high-scoring encounter
Hammers should be too strong
Back David Moyes' men to make the final
AZ Alkmaar vs West Ham
Thu, 20:00 BST
Live on BT Sport 1
West Ham the smart selection
West Ham lead 2-1 from their semi-final first leg last week and will be confident of completing the job. David Moyes' players had to come from 0-1 down at the London Stadium but ultimately deserved their win on the night.
AZ Alkmaar put up some resistance and have stayed in a tie which is "very evenly balanced", as Moyes put it after the final whistle. But there were signs that West Ham had too much class for the visitors and that extra quality should make itself pay this week as well.
At the time of writing, the market finds it impossible to split the two teams on the night.
West Ham are 2.727/4, with AZ also 2.727/4 and The Draw 3.613/5. West Ham look the better side, though it's no surprise they're not clear favourites to win in 90 minutes this week.
AZ have home advantage, after all, and West Ham need only a draw to go through.
Draw No Bet the clever play
Yet the relatively large odds on the Hammers throw up a good opportunity to back them on the Draw No Bet or Asian Handicap Markets.
On the Asian Handicap market, West Ham are available with a 0 start at 2.001/1. With this selection, you'll win if West Ham win on the night, and get your stakes back if the match ends all-square at the end of 90 minutes.
A second market to look at would be the Over/Under 2.5 Goals market. We expect this game to open up at some point. West Ham are unlikely to be defensively strong enough to shut out for the entire 90 minutes an AZ side that will come at them strongly.
The stats bear out this point. West Ham have conceded in eight of their last 10 matches in all competitions. They've also conceded at least once in each of their last three European games.
Over 2.5 Goals the pick
Looking deeper into the stats, Over 2.5 Goals appears likely based on the figures in games involving both of these sides.
Eleven of West Ham's last 20 games in all competitions have had Over 2.5 Goals. The same also applies to 12 of AZ's last 20 games in all competitions.
In European competition, 10 of AZ's 15 games have had Over 2.5 Goals this season. The same applies to nine of West Ham's 13 European games. On the basis of all the goals-related starts, the price of 2.01/1 on the game having three or more goals is definitely worth considering.
These odds on the Over 2.5 Goals market suggest the chances of the game having three or more goals are 50%. The stats suggest the probability of the game having three or more goals is higher than that.
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