Sam Allardyce needs no more incentive for his side to go to Pride Park on New Years Eve and win against Derby than the fact Southampton suffered their first home defeat in 24 games on Friday night at the hands of Bristol City. With a chance to go six points clear at the top of the table, the Saints blew it big style and West Ham can capitalize on Saturday and put extra pressure on the league leaders.
First the Hammers have to go to Pride Park and see off a Derby side that come into the game after a Boxing day win here at home to Leeds United. A game that would have left them feeling far more confident than in recent weeks.
That said, Derby have picked up only 7 points from a possible 24 in recent weeks, and West Ham have won seven of their 12 away fixtures to leave them top of the away tables.
Nigel Clough’s best hope is to be able to play on the fact that West Ham are currently ravaged by injury and have a number of suspensions for this game. Clough is good in these situations and I think Betfred’s 11/4 for the home win is far too big. West Ham can join the Saints at the top, but how often have we seen failure in situations like this?