Premier League 3pm Kick-Offs: West Ham to heap more misery on Baggies

Sam Allardyce's West Ham are in fine form on home soil
Sam Allardyce's West Ham are in fine form on home soil

There are seven non-televised games kicking off at the traditional time of 3pm on New Year's Day, and Mike Norman, fresh from a very profitable Christmas period, has briefly previewed them all...

"Sam Allardyce's men have a terrific record on home soil, winning six and drawing one of their previous seven games at the Boleyn Ground prior to Sunday's defeat, with the likes of Liverpool and Man City being amongst the teams they defeated."

Back West Ham HT/West Ham FT @ 3.02/1

Aston Villa 2.447/5 v Crystal Palace 3.412/5; The Draw 3.39/4

Villa are by some distance the lowest scoring side in the Premier League (11 goals scored, next lowest 14); Palace are without a win in seven, without a manager (at the time of writing) and have scored just three goals in their last seven matches.

Fixtures at this time of the year often throw up some odd results but it's perhaps safe to have a bit of confidence in this clash not being a goalfest.

Paul Lambert's men keep shooting themselves in the foot by having a key player sent off - Christian Benteke, Gabriel Agbonlahor, and Fabian Delph have all been dismissed since the start of November - but if they can keep 11 players on the pitch then you sense that they are the slightly better team on current form.

True, Villa are without a win in four games but they did record back-to-back wins at the start of the month before grinding out an excellent draw with in-form Manchester United. That form is much better than what Palace have shown recently and makes them the tentative selection here.

Recommended Bet
Back Aston Villa to Win @ 2.447/5

Hull 3.412/5 v Everton 2.3811/8; The Draw 3.45

I said prior to Sunday's round of fixtures that one good result isn't enough to signify a return to form, and so it proved for Hull as their Boxing Day victory at Sunderland was effectively undone with a home loss to hapless Leicester.

The Tigers are really struggling at present, especially in front of goal, but so too are Everton who are enduring a torrid December under Roberto Martinez.

The Toffees have lost five of their last six games in all competitions, their only victory coming against a QPR side who are yet to take a single point away from home. Everton were also dealt a huge blow when experienced goalkeeper Tim Howard was ruled out for six weeks with a calf injury.

Put simply, I can't call this game. Both sides are in awful form and I can see a tight cagey affair being played out. Under 2.5 Goals is available to back at 1.784/5 and that has to be the call.

Recommended Bet
Back Under 2.5 Goals @ 1.784/5

Liverpool 1.422/5 v Leicester 9.417/2; The Draw 5.14/1

Liverpool appear to be finding their feet, or at least they are finding the back of the net and that goes a long way to winning games.

The Reds have scored 10 goals in their last four league and cup games, winning three of those matches to move them up to eighth in the table. Brendan Rodgers seems to have stumbled upon a line-up - with Raheem Sterling up front - that suits, and while his men are performing well it's worth keeping them on our side.

The problem is, even against a Leicester side that have won just one of their last 14 games, I don't want to be backing Liverpool at just 1.422/5.

The Foxes were in a dreadful run of form prior to beating Hull last Sunday, but as I've already said, one win doesn't signify a return to form, especially when the victory was over a very out-of-form Hull side.

So let's take a chance on the home side maintaining their decent goalscoring form. They'll want to keep winning and scoring, and if they're on form then they can quite easily replicate Monday's outcome by scoring at least four goals.

Recommended Bet
Back Any Other Home Win @ 6.05/1

*Liverpool must score at least four while winning the match

Newcastle 1.84/5 v Burnley 5.39/2; The Draw 3.8514/5

At the time of writing Alan Pardew is yet to resign from Newcastle, though with his move to Crystal Palace now seemingly inevitable both John Carver and Steve Stone are set to be in charge for this New Year's Day fixture.

What impact Pardew's departure will have on the Magpies is unknown at this point, but my gut feeling is that the players were fully behind the boss and he will be a big miss in the dressing room. They might be desperate to win this game for Pardew, but at the same time you can excuse the players for having one eye on the latest shenanigans going on at their club.

Burnley meanwhile are sailing on much calmer waters having won three and drawn three of their last nine matches, their latest point coming courtesy of a terrific 2-2 draw at Man City on Sunday.

Sean Dyche's men are an extremely hard working side who never know when they are beaten, and I fancy they are meeting Newcastle at a good time. The Magpies are hardly in blistering form regardless of the manager situation so a lay of the home side is advised.

Recommended Bet
Lay Newcastle to win @ 1.814/5

QPR 3.052/1 v Swansea 2.68/5; The Draw 3.412/5

I'll keep this one simple as I'm not going to let QPR's failure to beat Crystal Palace deter me from backing them at Loftus Road again, especially when their opponents are a Swansea side that were thrashed at Liverpool on Monday night.

And it's not as if Garry Monk's men are a great away side anyway; since their opening day win at Old Trafford they've won just once on the road in nine games, and that was at hapless Hull!

What we do know about QPR is that they're a terrific home side and they usually score plenty of goals at Loftus Road - 16 in their last eight home matches to be precise - and they haven't lost in front of their own fans since October.

I believe Harry Redknapp's men are a great price to record another home win.

Recommended Bet
Back QPR to Win @ 3.052/1

Southampton 2.982/1 v Arsenal 2.6213/8; The Draw 3.55/2

Only goal difference separates the Saints and the Gunners going into 2015 but with Arsenal winning seven of their last nine matches in all competitions (it would have been eight wins but for a last-gasp Liverpool equaliser a fortnight ago) you sense they are the 'form' team.

Arsene Wenger has had to deal with a lot of injuries this term but despite this his side haven't really endured a bad run. Alexis Sanchez remains in fine form, and with him in the side you wouldn't rule out the Gunners winning any game.

Southampton meanwhile have won just two of their last nine, and although they will have gained plenty of enjoyment from their 1-1 draw with Chelsea on Sunday it's difficult to say that they will have derived much confidence from that match given the dominance Jose Mourinho's men displayed from a possession point of view.

I don't envisage Arsenal enjoying quite as much of the ball as Chelsea did but I can certainly see them carving out more chances than the Blues did at St Mary's, and while the Saints and a few of their key players are on this little quiet run I can see an away victory here.

Recommended Bet
Back Arsenal to Win @ 2.6213/8

West Ham 1.910/11 v West Brom 4.84/1; The Draw 3.7511/4

Alan Irvine paid the price for West Brom's poor results on Monday and quite often when a club gets rid of their manager there's an immediate upturn in results. That's the only reason I can think of as to why West Ham are as big as 1.910/11 to win this game.

For me the Hammers should be a 1.758/11 shot, if not shorter. True, they lost at home to Arsenal on Sunday but they played their part in a very entertaining game and matched the Gunners in every department but for a five minute spell just before half time.

Sam Allardyce's men have a terrific record on home soil, winning six and drawing one of their previous seven games at the Boleyn Ground prior to Sunday's defeat, with the likes of Liverpool and Man City being amongst the teams they defeated.

The Baggies have won just one of their last nine outings, a derby win over 10-man Villa, and in their last two away games they've conceded five to QPR and Stoke.

The Hammers are a better side that those two at present, and given the amount of first half goals they've scored this season I believe they're a cracking bet to lead at half time before taking all three points.

Recommended Bet
Back West Ham HT/West Ham FT @ 3.02/1
(best bet)

You can follow me on Twitter - @MikkyMo73

Premier League 2014/15 Season P/L

Staked: 107 pts
Returned: 117.21 pts
P/L: + 10.21 pts

*based on 1pt each bet, 2pts best bet

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