West Ham United vs Leicester
Venue: London Stadium
Referee: Lee Probert
West Ham will be hoping to end a run of three straight defeats this weekend when they welcome Leicester City to the London Stadium.
The Hammers were narrowly beaten 2-1 by Manchester United last time out due to two Paul Pogba penalties. Manuel Pellegrini’s side were the better team throughout the match and deserved to take three points away from Manchester, however they ultimately lost the match due to a few decisions going incorrectly in United’s favour.
Leicester however, were on a brilliant run of form, winning four games in a row until last weekend when Newcastle edged past them 1-0. The Foxes will be hoping to win their third successive away game as they look to cement themselves in the Europa League spot, while West Ham will be hoping to keep up their good home form.
Pellegrini has had a mixed week in West Ham’s medical centre. Marko Arnautovic has recovered from an illness that kept him out of the Manchester United match, and the Chilean manager also confirmed that midfielder Jack Wilshere could make his long-awaited return to the match-day squad.
The bad news is that Manuel Lanzini, Samir Nasri and Javier Hernandez have all been ruled out of this weekend’s match. This will see Arnautovic come back into the starting line-up to replace Hernandez.
The Austrian will be hoping to make the most of this chance to endear himself to the West Ham United fans after a couple of troubled months.
Robert Snodgrass is also set to start against Leicester in place of Lanzini. Snodgrass has been punished by the FA for abusing an anti-doping official and handed a one-match ban. The ban, however, will come into effect next week.
Brendan Rodgers announced that Marc Albrighton will be fit to start the game against West Ham. The English winger has recovered from a Hamstring injury which was feared to keep him out for the season. Rodgers did confirm that he will not play a full 90 minutes. Leicester will, however, be without Daniel Amartey and Matty James for the match.
Predicted Starting XIs
West Ham United (4-3-3): Fabianski, Fredericks, Ogbonna, Balbuena, Masuaku, Rice, Noble, Snodgrass, Anderson, Antonio, Arnautovic.
Leicester City (4-2-3-1): Schmeichel, Pereira, Morgan, Maguire, Chilwell, Ndidi, Gray, Tielemans, Maddison, Albrighton, Vardy.
Prediction: West Ham 2 Leicester City 2
West Ham have had strong form at the London Stadium this year and have started to make it really feel like home. The Hammers have also announced that a new claret carpet has been installed ahead of the match against Leicester. The Board will be hoping this increases the atmosphere at the stadium.
Leicester will be hoping to spoil the party however, players like Jamie Vardy, Demarai Gray and Youri Tielemans have really hit form since Rodgers arrived in the East Midlands. This improved form has seen the Foxes climb to seventh in the table and are looking good to qualify for the Europa League.
West Ham have dropped from the top half and now sit eleventh. The Hammers will be desperate for a win and close the gap to the top ten. Especially after the disappointment the faced last weekend against United.
The match will be a close and competitive battle. Both teams play attacking football and have similar quality in their teams. There will be goals in this match and we are likely to see the spoils shared on Saturday.