Hammers to strike a late blow

May 12th, 2018 | Ian Carnaby's Sports News

I admit to a feeling of great relief following Southampton’s utterly committed display at Swansea on Tuesday. It has been a very disappointing season and there will need to be major surgery during the summer but nothing much happened twelve months ago so we’ll see. I hope Mark Hughes is offered a contract but it’s almost as important that he’s allowed to choose his own players.

Although the Saints were the architects of their own near-disaster, the refereeing performance at Everton in the penultimate match took some believing. To give a free-kick from some 20 yards away when the linesman – much closer – had not raised his flag, and then to compound the error by allowing the kick to be taken miles away from the ‘offence’ took some believing. The referee came close to sending Southampton down and it is to be hoped he has learned from the episode.

The final day does not have as much hanging on it as we suspected and I suspect even Chelsea know the game is up when it comes to catching Liverpool for the final Champions League place. The Blues are an odd, moody mixture at present and I suspect it would only take news that Liverpool have scored early against Brighton for an ‘oh well, that’s the way it goes’ attitude to set in. If that happens, the home team may take advantage and send the supporters home happy. Anyway, 11/2 strikes me as a fair price.

Everton were poor against Southampton and one wonders how long Sam Allardyce will survive if the crowd continues to vent its disapproval. I don’t like the game at West Ham as a betting medium because the Hammers were in action as recently as Thursday but they look committed to me, Mark Noble continues to boss things in midfield and, of course, the battering ram that is Andy Carroll is fit and keen at the moment. Home advantage could count for plenty here and 16/11 is bearable. The last five selections have gone in so we can afford a slip, though naturally I hope it doesn’t happen.

NEWCASTLE 10 units at 11/2 to beat Chelsea

WEST HAM 15 units at 16/11 to beat Everton