West Ham Betting
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West Ham United Football Club are based in Upton Park, East London, and have played at the Boleyn Ground stadium since 1904. The club was originally founded as Thames Ironworks F.C. in 1895 and later reformed as West Ham United. They initially competed in the Southern League and Western League, before joining the full Football League in 1919. The “Hammers” enjoyed their first top-flight season in 1923, also featuring in the first FA Cup Final to be held at Wembley, against Bolton Wanderers. The club have spent their entire career in the top two divisions of the Football League.
Opportunities to Bet on West Ham
West Ham and the Premier League
In the Premier League era, West Ham narrowly missed out on a UEFA Cup place in the 1997-98 season.
However, they achieved their best Premiership finish of 5th in the 1998-99 season, qualifying for Europe for the first time in 20 years. However, subsequent seasons were not nearly as fruitful with finishes of 9th, 15th and 7th. An 18th place finish in the 2002-03 season saw the Hammers relegated to the Championship. In the 2004-05 season, West Ham finished 6th in the Championship, qualifying for the playoffs. They beat third-placed finishers Ipswich Town 4-2 on aggregate in the semi-finals, courtesy of a 2-0 away win. In the final, played at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium, they beat Preston North End 1-0, Bobby Zamora scoring in the 57th minute, thus ensuring a return to the top flight. Since their return the Hammers have finished 9th, 15th and 10th.
West Ham betting odds reflect their chances of winning the Premiership, usually around the 1000/1 mark. Bookmakers rate their chances of a top six finish more highly, the West Ham odds generally being about 7/1. The fact that West Ham betting odds are often in the top 8 in the relegation market suggests that the Hammers are a “top-half” side (just!) but little more.
Betting on West Ham Matches
West Ham generally perform well at Upton Park, with creditable head-to-head form with the top sides. They have a very good home record against sides other than the “Big 4″ and a bet on West Ham, at home, can represent some value for the punter. However, they are consistently let down by poor performances away from home, with a glorious inability to find the back of the net. The problem is compounded by an inherent ability to concede goals away from home. A bet on West Ham, away from Upton Park, is a decidedly dodgy proposition, regardless of the quality of the opposition.
Domestic Cup Competitions
West Ham have been successful 3 times in the FA Cup, all in the pre-Premiership era. Their first success came in 1964, beating Preston North End 3-2, with goals from Ron Boyce, Geoff Hurst and John Sissons. At the time, Preston’s Howard Kendall was the youngest player ever to play in an FA Cup Final, aged 17 years 345 days. The Hammers repeated the dose in 1975, beating Fulham 2-0, with a brace of goals from Alan Taylor. The 1975 West Ham United team has the distinction of being, as of 2008, the last team of all-English players to win the FA Cup. West Ham completed their FA Cup hat-trick with a surprise 1-0 win over Arsenal in 1980, Trevor Brooking scoring the winner.
Up to 2008, it was the last time a team from outside the top flight has won the FA Cup. Despite the chances of West Ham winning another FA Cup in the foreseeable future seeming remote, the West Ham odds generally have them in the top dozen in the FA Cup market at around 33/1. An FA Cup bet on West Ham is a definite “no-no” until they show improved, more consistent form.
FA Community Shield
West Ham shared the title with League Champions Liverpool, after a 2-2 draw at Wembley in 1964, though the result is of no relevance to current West Ham betting
UEFA Intertoto Cup
The UEFA Intertoto Cup 1999 finals were won by Montpellier, Juventus, and West Ham United. All three teams advanced to the UEFA Cup. West Ham beat NK Osijek 6-1 on aggregate in the UEFA Cup first round but succumbed 2-0 to Steaua Bucuresti in the second round. Given that West Ham are unlikely to reach a European qualifying place in the foreseeable future, any discussion of betting on West Ham in Europe seems irrelevant.
UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup
West Ham’s greatest success was probably in the (now defunct) UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup. They beat TSV 1860 Munchen, in front of 100,000 fans at Wembley stadium, in 1965. Alan Sealey scored twice in two minutes in the second half to give the Hammers the trophy, with a 2-0 win. Although their finest hour, 40-year-old statistics are of no relevance to West Ham betting in the current era.