Sakho to hammer Palace
Diafra Sakho to score @ 5/2 (3.5). Industry best price is 17/10. Take the bet at http://goo.gl/D3nt4Y
Diafra Sakho, at the centre of an Africa Cup of Nations club-v-country row last month, has put that controversy behind him. He looks to be returning to the form that caught the eye in the first half of the Premier League season,which will be bad news for Crystal Palace on Saturday.
The Senegal forward, who joined the Hammers for an undisclosed fee in August from Metz, struck his first away goal since October 18 last weekend in the 2-2 draw at Tottenham and was unlucky not score more in a man-of-the-match performance.
Sakho burst on to the Premier League scene in the autumn with six goals in six successive appearances to equal Mick Quinn’s record in the competition, set back in 1992, and he was rewarded with the October Player of the Month trophy.
Defences then started to work out the 25-year-old, though, and the goals dried up – until the turn of the year, when he netted in a 1-1 draw against West Brom.
He scored again in the Hammers’ next game – the FA Cup third-round win at League One leaders Bristol City – but his appearance in that match provoked uproar at the Senegalese FA, who thought he was injured and so had agreed to his withdrawal from their Africa Cup of Nations squad.
They complained to FIFA, who fined West Ham 100,000 Swiss francs, but Sakho looked oblivious to the row last weekend, when he gave the Spurs defence a torrid time.
Although Palace suffered a 3-1 home defeat to West Ham in the clubs’ first meeting of the season, when Sakho didn’t score, they have shown improved form since Alan Pardew took over with wins over Spurs, Burnley and Leicester, when they kept a clean sheet in a 1-0 win earlier this month.
However, their defence was at fault for last weekend’s 2-1 home loss to Arsenal – when they dominated the match but were hit by two sucker-punches from the Gunners.
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