FC Lusitans betting preview with Betway

Get set for Thursday's match with all the odds from our Principal Partners Betway
Less than 40 days have passed since the final whistle blew at St James’ Park on May 24. It signalled the end of West Ham United’s 2014/15 season and the end of Sam Allardyce’s time at the club. A new chapter gets underway at the Boleyn Ground on Thursday night with the visit of FC Lusitans. The Europa League qualifying clash marks the start of Slaven Bilic’s reign in the Hammers hotseat, one that looks set to get off to a winning start. In fact the Irons are the shortest price they have ever been for a competitive first-team fixture. The odds for a home win are just 1/100.
 
That’s a potential profit of just 1p in the pound for anyone looking to make the investment on the ‘Match Result’ market. A draw in this first leg is offered at 16/1, with a victory for FC Lusitans showing at the huge price of 50/1. At Betway we like to make things more interesting and we’ve created a ‘Match Handicap’ market where the visitors from Andorra will be given a ‘5 goal start’. Any confident home fans can back United to win by 6 or more goals on that handicap at 5/6. FC Lusitans are 6/4 to win the game with that rather generous head start.
 
With well over 100 selections on the Betway site, there are plenty of alternatives to those seemingly restrictive match odds. Our ‘Correct Score’ market has a 5-0 West Ham United win as the 11/2 joint-favourite along with a 6-0 victory. The away side have suffered heavy defeats in their previous forays into continental football. The trip to east London by far the hardest task in the 16 seasons since they were formed.
 
Looking back in our betting archives we found the previous record for West Ham’s shortest price. In January 1992 Farnborough were the visitors to the Boleyn for a third round FA Cup match. The match had been switched from the Non-League club’s home venue, and with that additional advantage the prices for a United victory were as shorts as 1/20. Julian Dicks got the opening goal, but the floodgates did not open as expected. Farnborough finding an equaliser eight minutes from time. Of course the Hammers eventually got the job done in the replay (also held at the Boleyn Ground) but odds-on punters had their fingers burnt that day.
  
So shocks can happen, but anything other than a home win would be completely unexpected here. Team news suggests that a mixture of first-team and youth players will take the stage. An interesting contender for the first goal could be youngster Reece Oxford – who will be making his senior debut. The defender and current Academy player of the year has been in goalscoring form for England recently and could be a value price to get a headed goal at around 20/1.
 
Thursday’s game starts a very long path to Europa League glory. The price for West Ham United to lift the trophy is 50/1 – a bet that all of us at Betway would love to be paying out on next May!
 
Find the latest Betway odds on West Ham United v FC Lusitans at www.betway.com