Ravel to revel in Palace clash

  • By: Andy Schooler
  • Last Updated: December 3 2013, 20:46 GMT

Andy Schooler feels West Ham's Ravel Morrison should be backed to net in Tuesday's Premier League match against Crystal Palace.

Ravel Morrison: Too big at 5/1 to find the net
Ravel Morrison: Too big at 5/1 to find the net

Crystal Palace v West Ham (2000 GMT)

West Ham got out of their rut at the weekend when they claimed a comfortable victory in what was a crucial clash against fellow strugglers Fulham.

The Hammers were clearly the better side in that one, winning 3-0 in the end, and now they face another London derby.

Sam Allardyce finally opted to go with a recognised striker and the decision paid dividends. Modibo Maiga hit the post and offered threat before being replaced by Carlton Cole who grabbed a goal.

He's got the same squad to choose from here but, with his side facing three games in eight days, has suggested a few will be moved off the bench and into the starting XI.

Allardyce looks sure to have his team up for this game, knowing the importance of a win - three more points will take his side well clear of the relegation zone.

Speaking ahead of the clash, he said: "Saturday will be a waste if we lose to Crystal Palace. If we can win it'll make a massive difference as it'll make us a mid-table team."

With rock-bottom Palace having little to offer in terms of attacking threat - they have scored just once in their last five games - I can see the Hammers prevailing at 13/8.

They'll have gained much-needed confidence from their weekend win and have proved difficult to break down on the road.

They've kept four clean sheets in their six away games so far - plus another in the League Cup - so they look worth backing to me.

A lack of goals on their travels suggests any West Ham win may be a narrow one, but despite that I'm still tempted to get with Ravel Morrison in the anytime scorer market.

The former Manchester United youngster is offered at 5/1 which simply looks too big to me.

He's started 11 games this season and scored in five of them, a statistic which doesn't exactly compute with the odds available.

Throw in the fact that he'll be facing arguably the league's worst side - one which has conceded 22 goals in 13 games so far - and I really think the price should be taken.

Morrison is a flashy character likely to relish playing in front of the TV cameras. He lit up game when he came on against Fulham and has shown the skill his possesses in plenty of other games.

Verdict: Crystal Palace 0 West Ham 2

Opta stats:

West Ham have won just two of their last 20 Premier League away games (W2 D6 L12).

Jerome Thomas has scored three goals in four Barclays Premier League appearances against West Ham - against no side has he scored more often.

Palace have failed to score in three of their last four Premier League games at Selhurst Park, netting just once in the other game within this run.

The Hammers have failed to score in five of their last seven Premier League away matches, but have kept four clean sheets in the last six.

  • The game is being televised live in the UK on BT Sport.

  • Posted at 1410 GMT on 02/12/2013.

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