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West Ham and Leicester are locked neck-and-neck going into huge clash before World Cup break
West Ham to win 2-1
Tournament: Premier League 2022-2023 | Venue: London, London StadiumBet Now
West Ham and Leicester are two of the stalwarts of the Premier League, although have struggled for form and confidence over the opening three or so months of the season.
David Moyes’ Hammers have spent some of the season in the bottom three, some of it in the top half and have now settled into 15th place.
As the season progresses, you would expect them to reclaim a top 10 spot, although their form has been inconsistent to say the least. Three points here would do them the world of good.
Brendan Rodgers has done well to steady the ship at Leicester, having spent most of the season on or near the foot of the table.
It was a disastrous start to the campaign, but three wins from their last four games have seen their fortunes improve visibly.
Now, with three points at stake, these two teams have plenty to play for before a month’s pause.
Reasons to be cheerful:
• Won three of their last four against Leicester
• Will demand a response after poor defeat last weekend
Reasons to be fearful:
• Three defeats from their last four in the league has halted their recovery
• Have scored 13 goals fewer than Leicester this season
West Ham were uncharacteristically poor in their defeat to Crystal Palace last weekend.
While the Hammers’ form has been up and down this season, they have rarely looked so toothless at their home ground. With another home game here, they have the perfect opportunity to set things right.
With a number of their players called up to their respective countries’ World Cup squads, confidence should be high among the group.
They also have a good record against Leicester to call upon, although this season has been strange for a number of reasons.
A win in front of their home fans would sign off their first 15 games nicely and set them up for when the Premier League returns at the end of December.
Star Man – Michail Antonio
It remains to be seen whether Antonio will start against Leicester, having played and scored in the midweek defeat to Blackburn in the cup. The striker has four goals in his last four starts against Leicester.
Reasons to be cheerful
Form shows dramatic improvement under Rodgers recently
Are scoring goals for fun
Reasons to be fearful
Goals conceded record is a concern
Kept just one clean sheet in their 15 away games against West Ham
Leicester are another big team that have endured a turbulent start to the campaign, although are showing strong signs of recovery.
Three wins from their last four games shows the quality still present within Rodgers’ team.
Despite their earlier struggles, they have been scoring plenty of goals all campaign. That’s now 23 goals in the league, the most of any team outside the top nine, plus the three they scored against Newport in midweek.
Although they failed to bring many new signings into the club in the summer, the quality of James Maddison, Jamie Vardy and Harvey Barnes have caused problems for opponents.
They also look more solid at the back, despite conceding 25 goals this season.
The Foxes’ main challenge will be overcoming their poor record against West Ham, particularly away from home.
Star Man – James Maddison
Deserved his callup to the England squad this week and has played brilliantly to help his side out of trouble in recent times.
Should be an even game
Quick attackers should lead to chances at both ends
Home advantage should count in West Ham’s favour
You would expect both sides to give it their all here – no one wants their last game before a month’s break to end in defeat.
For that reason, this should be an entertaining, if not close, encounter. Both sides have pacey attackers that like to run in behind the lines and pull defences one way and then the next.
We have to consider West Ham’s home form against Leicester and how one-sided that has been over the years. For that reason, the Hammers are favourites.
West Ham to win 2-1
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