West Ham have gotten a lot of attention during what is largely a quiet period for football news. In addition to finalising their move to the Olympic Stadium from their historic home of Upton park, West Ham parted ways with former manager Sam Allardyce. In his place is Slaven Bilić, who needed only one full season to be viewed as a legend by fans.
Bilić had been mooted as a future West Ham manager for many years, having previously managed Croatia, Lokomotiv Moscow, and Besiktas. Well, fans now have their wish, for better or for worse. And already Bilić has proven controversial by not managing the team for their Europa League qualifying tie with Andorran side Lusitanos, who were beaten 3-0 in last week’s first leg.
West Ham will continue with academy director Terry Westley in the dugout. Bilić made his odd decision to not take charge seemingly part out of wanting to reward Westley for looking after the team recently, while also stating that Westley is currently more familiar with the team.
Bilić was certainly proven right in letting Westley take charge, but he could also have made life more difficult for himself if he later struggles. Lusitanos were easily dispatched 3-0, with the Hammers fielding a first XI that blended stars with young players. The likes of Diafra Sakho and Mauro Zárate will likely appear again.
Lusitanos manager Xavi Roura felt extremely disrespected by Bilić’s not to take charge against his team, which play in the semi-professional Andorran league, but the fact is that it probably did not matter. West Ham should be expected to win this game comfortably and build on their goals from the first leg.
Tip one: West Ham for highest scoring second half @ 2.00 with Betfair
Tip two: Odd number of goals @ 1.95 with Betfair
West Ham winning this game is currently available at 1.03. In a game where the Hammers are so highly favoured it is tough to find decent odds. One option is to back an odd number of goals, while West Ham will likely have a higher scoring second half as their opponents tire.