Saturday, October 21, 2017

Prediction: Leicester vs West Ham


Verdict: West Ham not to lose

Best Odds: 4/5

Bookmaker: bet365

The reigning Premier League champions are now effectively fighting for their lives after the 2-0 home loss to Everton, and this is not exactly the right time to be facing revived West Ham. The Hammers have overcome a difficult period and they arrive at King Power Stadium searching for fourth successive victory.

Leicester

This season keeps going from bad to worse for the Premier League holders and their Champions League success will mean little if the Foxes eventually get relegated to the Championship. Everybody knows this team have got way too much quality to go down, but Claudio Ranieri needs to find a way to get his side back on track quickly, or else they will be in all sorts of problems. Leicester City were unable to build on the great comeback against Stoke City as they were beaten at home by Everton, although it is important to note that the hosts were missing quite a few first team regulars. While the likes of Vardy, Fuchs and Huth were banned, Ranieri surprisingly left Mahrez on the bench, and by the time the Algerian was brought on, it was too late to salvage one point. The only positive on the day was the return of Danny Drinkwater, who had missed quite a few league fixtures through injury and suspension, and there are no doubts that his return will give everyone a lift. Youngster Ben Chilwell impressed on his Premier League debut and was subsequently praised by the manager, but he will probably make way for Christian Fuchs nonetheless.

Team News

While Christian Fuchs and Robert Hurt return from suspension, key attacker Jamie Vardy serves the second match of his three-game ban.

West Ham

Similar to Leicester City, West Ham United have been punching well below their weight this term, but they finally managed to turn things around. The Hammers needed quite some time to rediscover their form, but three Premier League wins in a row are enough to suggest they are back on track. Narrow home wins over Burnley and Hull City lifted a huge weight off their shoulders, but it was the 4-1 hammering of Swansea City at Liberty Stadium that proved the Hammers have effectively returned to their best. The impressive run of results saw West Ham climb to 11th in the league standings and create an eight-point cushion between themselves and the relegation zone, meaning they can finally start thinking about European positions. The Hammers now have a chance to pile more misery on Leicester City and take advantage of the opposition problems to further improve their league position, and they definitely enter the match in much better spirits than the Foxes. West Ham have failed to win any of their last four meetings with the King Power Stadium outfit, but this will be their opportunity to improve on that record.

Team News

Slaven Bilic welcomes back Manuel Lanzini from a minor injury, with Andre Ayew expected to make way as the Ghanaian is still not at 100%.

The game comes too soon for full-back Sam Byram, whereas Diafra Sakho, Gokhan Tore and Reece Oxford are out injured and Simone Zaza is out of the squad as he nears a January move.

Key Factors to Consider

  • West Ham are on a three-match winning run
  • Leicester City lost four of last six games
  • The Foxes failed to score in two of last three
  • Their last eight meetings produced 27 goals
  • Leicester in danger of becoming 2nd team to get relegated after Premiership triumph

Conclusion

Leicester City are going through a rough patch at the moment and the absence of Jamie Vardy is clearly not helping. The Foxes are under a great deal of pressure at the moment and they will struggle to match improving West Ham, who are looking to make it four Premier League victories on the bounce.

Verdict: West Ham not to lose

Best Odds: 4/5

Bookmaker: bet365

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