Having taken a giant leap towards making the Championship play off final with last week's 2-0 win in the Welsh capital, West Ham know that avoiding defeat against Cardiff at Upton Park today would send them to Wembley.
Having been comfortably the better side in the first leg, it is no surprise to find the Hammers priced at 8/13 (1.62) with Bet 365 to record another win, while Cardiff are available at 9/2 (5.50). The real problem for the Bluebirds is that they know they must score twice to stand any chance of progressing, yet during the Championship season they were far from the most prolific side on their travels with nine teams in the division managing more away goals than Malky Mackay's men.
Though certain West Ham fans have been unhappy with the style adopted by the team at times, in their last four home matches they have managed 13 goals and played some entertaining football.
With this in mind, the 8/11 (1.73) offered on West Ham to score over 1.5 goals loooks extremely tempting, especially when you consider that it has paid out in 9 of the Hammers' last 10 matches.
If goals for West Ham look probable, then the man who is likely to get them is Carlton Cole, with the former England striker in a rich vein of form at Upton Park. He has scored in each of the Hammers' last four home games, notching five goals in the process and is priced at 7/5 (2.40) to score at any time.
That looks like an excellent bet in itself but for slightly more value back him to open the scoring at 5/1 (6.00) as he has done in two of the last four games.
|West Ham to score over 1.5 goals at 8/11 (1.73) with Bet365
Carlton Cole to score first at 5/1 (6.00) with Bet365
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Phil Kitromilides is a sports broadcaster working on radio and TV in London and Madrid, you can also follow Phil on Twitter