As the Premier League reaches what is commonly known as “squeaky bum time”, a win against Aston Villa this weekend would massively boost West Ham’s chances of survival.
The Irons currently lie in 18th place in the league, two points from safety, but depending on other results, victory at the Boleyn Ground could see the east Londoners leapfrog Blackpool.
A decent run of form in recent weeks had suggested that Avram Grant’s side has the appetite for a survival fight.
However, two successive defeats to Bolton Wanderers and Manchester United have brought an end to their run.
In order to get back to winning ways, the home side will need to rediscover the form that brought a goalless draw with Tottenham Hotspur and back-to-back league victories over Stoke and Liverpool.
Hammers fans hoping to see their side emerge victorious can currently bet at 6/5 on a win over Villa on Saturday.
While West Ham find themselves in a relegation battle, striker Carlton Cole has been in the form of a player higher up the league and currently tops the team’s scoring charts with 11 goals in all competitions.
As such, the hitman is priced at 5/1 to score the last game of the match. Frederic Piquionne and Victor Obinna have also been on target in recent weeks and can be backed at 2/1 and 21/20 respectively to score at anytime during the crunch tie.
While Aston Villa sit four places above their hosts in the league, safety is far from assured and the wrong result would eat into the five-point cushion between them and the Premier League trap door.
Following a comprehensive 4-1 victory over Blackburn Rovers, Gerard Houllier’s men failed to win in four attempts, going down to Manchester City, Bolton and local rivals Wolves in successive matches.
However, recent weeks have seen a more determined Villans outfit, with a tough-fought 2-2 draw with Everton leading to a 1-0 win over Newcastle.
Punters who feel the Midlands-based claret and blue army will keep this run going can back the Villa Park outfit at 21/10, while the draw is available at odds of 23/10.
If an away win is on the cards, Darren Bent, who has been in fine form since his £24 million switch from Sunderland, could prove the key man.
The England striker can be backed at 9/2 to bring proceedings to a close at Upton Park by scoring the final goal of the game.
A £10 bet on the former Black Cat to round off the scoring would return £55. New customers can register here to receive a £25 free bet.