After a summer of preseason soccer and record-breaking transfers, the Premier League returns this weekend. Manchester United host West Ham in our highlighted fixture, with Jose Mourinho looking to redeem last season’s lacklustre showing in the league. Can the Red Devils send a message to their title rivals and begin the season with three points? Read on for some betting insight.
Live Manchester United vs. West Ham odds
Whilst Chelsea ran away with the 2016/17 title, the 2017/18 outright Premier League betting market looks closer than ever with as many as six teams offering a valid argument for potential title challengers.
- Expert insight: Outright Premier League betting.
One team with good title prospects is Manchester United. United have used their chequebook to plug holes in their squad, which may be the difference between their uninspiring sixth finish (25 points behind champions Chelsea) to possibly winning the title that has eluded them since 2013.
Manchester United vs. West Ham betting: Recent games
Despite Manchester United coming in as a favourite against West Ham, the Red Devils have won just one of their last five games against the Hammers (three draws and one loss), and only won one of the last three at home (drawing two). Often United have struggled against West Ham and should be taken into consideration when analysing the Manchester United vs. West Ham odds.
However, United’s preseason has been impressive, particularly in comparison to their 2016/17 preseason where they won just two out of five games (lost one and drew two).
United created 447 chances last season compared to Everton’s 392. If Lukaku maintains his 22.72% conversion rate from last season, bettors can expect more goals.
In preparation for this season, United won five out of seven of their games (drawing one), with their only points being dropped in a draw against Champions League holders Real Madrid and a 1-0 loss to Barcelona.
Whereas West Ham has stumbled into the start of the new Premier League season. Just one win from six games (three draws and two losses) shows a lack of form going into their opener, including a 3-0 loss to Manchester City.
Bettors should consider Andrew Beasley’s findings when he looked into the importance of preseason results before letting these results have too heavy a bearing on their decision-making process.
Jose Mourinho’s second season syndrome
The second-season syndrome - a team struggling to perform during a manager’s second season in charge - isn’t something related with Jose Mourinho and has instead become somewhat his calling card.
United’s manager has never failed to win the domestic title in his second season at any of his previous clubs and notably won the Champions League title during his second season at both Porto and Inter Milan.
Mourinho has never lost a season opener in England, spanning across eight games at both Chelsea and Manchester United. It is certainly worth noting the Manchester United manager’s past record in both his second seasons and in his opening games, which could point to potential value in the Manchester United v West Ham odds.
Hernandez to end striker woes?
West Ham have had very little success when it comes to investing in new forwards. In the seven years that co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold bought the club, West Ham have completed 33 deals for new strikers.
Manchester United have scored 15 goals in their seven preseason games, whilst West Ham have conceded ten in six.
Of those 33 strikers, only four have managed double figures in a season. Goal-shy forwards have been a perennial weakness for the Hammers; if you ignore strikers who were signed for the youth team, and almost a third left East London without scoring a single goal.
However, that may be about to change with the acquisition of Javier Hernandez. Chicharito scored 37 goals in 49 league appearances in his last spell in the Premier League, with many of those coming from the bench.
Last season for Bayer Leverkusen, the Mexican scored 28 goals in 45 appearances in the Bundesliga. His form last year entwined with his past experience in the Premier League should put him in good stead for the 2017/18 Premier League season, and for his return to Old Trafford on Sunday.
Manchester United vs. West Ham betting: Will Lukaku make the difference?
The loss of Zlatan Ibrahimovic left a 17-goal hole in United’s strikeforce. The Red Devils only managed 54 goals in 38 league games last season; when you compare this with Tottenham’s goals scored tally of 86, you can see why they weren’t challenging for the title.
So United got their chequebook out and bought Romalu Lukaku. The 24-year-old scored 25 goals in 36 Premier League games for Everton last season, finishing second in the race for the Golden Boot - he is currently one of the favourites in this year’s Premier League Golden Boot betting.
United created 447 chances last season compared to Everton’s 392. If Lukaku maintains his 22.72% conversion rate from last season, bettors can expect a much higher goal tally.
Chicharito scored 37 goals in 49 league appearances in his last spell in the Premier League.
When it comes to this Sunday, no striker has a record against a single opposition quite like Romelu Lukaku. In his last six Premier League games against West Ham, the Belgian has scored five and assisted three.
In fact, when Lukaku opened the scoring in Everton’s 2-0 win over the Hammers in October, it was the ninth goal in consecutive games against West Ham. Don’t be surprised to see him on the scoresheet on Sunday.
Manchester United vs. West Ham odds: Where is the value?
Manchester United have scored 15 goals in their seven preseason games, whilst West Ham have conceded ten in six. A side who likes to score goals against a side who likes to concede them, with a new striker who performs better against the opposition than any other side means the Handicap and Totals market could off value.
Over 2.5 and 3 goals in the game is currently priced at 1.900* and may attract interest from those who think Lukaku will continue his impressive run against West Ham and Chicharito will continue where he left off with his Premier League goal scoring record.
Those that believe that the preseason games show true form going into the season opener may want to pay particular attention to Manchester United’s -1.5 handicap odds of 1.943*.
Start the new Premier League season by betting with the best odds and highest limits online at Pinnacle.