Friday, September 14, 2012
Following a distracting combination of an international break and the closing of the transfer window, league football returns in earnest this weekend as clubs are finally afforded the opportunity to field their new signings and, in several instances, hope for an early-season change of luck.
This certainly applies to Norwich, who are now joint 11/10 favourites (Skybet) with Southampton to be relegated. Nonetheless, they kick off against newly-promoted West Ham in tomorrow’s televised game as BetVictor’s 13/10 favourites to secure three much-needed points as Stan James post 12/5 about the stalemate.
There has been steady support for the draw. Prior to the pair’s most recent meetings – in the FA Cup, both won by the Londoners – five of the previous six league meetings finished all square, a record which adds appeal to Skybet’s 11/2 chalked in favour of it finishing 1-1.
However, a sizeable number of punters are clearly anticipating a hatful of goals, with Norwich well-backed at 5/6 (bet365) to open the scoring and Ladbrokes’ 2/1 for the Canaries to hold a half-time lead also attracting steady support.
In an adjacent market, Paddy Power offer 7/2 about City being 1-0 up at 45 minutes, while punters who suspect a half-time lead could be replicated in the second period can get 4/1 (BetVictor.com) against Norwich being in front at the conclusion of both halves.
In the goalscorer markets, Stan James chalk 9/1 about Grant Holt notching two or more and bet365 post an attractive-looking 10/3 in favour of City enjoying a one-goal margin of victory.
One could be enough – City are 13/2 (Ladbrokes) to win 1-0, although BetVictor’s massive 28/1 chalked in favour of them winning 3-2 catches the eye.
Finally, given that West Ham could field several players who have already received yellow cards, it’s perhaps not surprising to see them quoted at 6/10 (William Hill) to be the first of the two teams to have a player booked.