Leicester City and West Ham are on the opposite ends of the form spectrum as they prepare to lock horns on Sunday at the King Power Stadium. Despite a promising start to the campaign, Leicester City has suffered a massive dip in form and finds themselves 12th on the Premier League table. West Ham, on the other hand, is in the race for a top finish and secure Champions League football for the first time in the club’s history.
A bright start followed up with a slump in the end; this has been a recurring theme in Brendan Rodgers’s Leicester City stint. The 2016 Premier League champions had won the FA Cup for the first time in their history when Rodgers guided them to a 1-0 victory over Chelsea at Wembley last season. But, the club’s supporters might feel that they deserved better in the league given how consistent they were in the earlier stages of the competition.
The downfall has seemingly come earlier than expected this season as Leicester’s top four ambitions have already come to an end. If they don’t manage to claim all three points against the Hammers tomorrow, they could be closer to the drop zone than they are to the top seven.
Leicester City were left shell-shocked by Nottingham Forrest in the FA Cup as they cruised to a 4-1 victory and terminated Leicester’s hopes of keeping hold of the FA Cup. In midweek, a Diogo Jota brace condemned Leicester to a 2-0 defeat and extended their winless run to three matches.
The 2016 Premier League champions were unfortunate to lose several key players to injury. Jamie Vardy, Jonny Evans, Timothy Castagne, Wesley Fofana, and Ryan Bertrand will not be available for selection as they are nursing injuries. The game might come too soon for AFCON returnee Nampalys Mendy as well.
However, there are some good news for Leicester. Kelechi Iheanacho, Youri Tielemans, and Harvey Barnes are all in contention to start the game. Caglar Soyuncu and Daniel Amartey is expected to anchor the Leicester defence.
West Ham have been in red-hot form lately, but going into this game, they are not in an ideal place either. David Moyes drew severe criticism after picking Kurt Zouma in West Ham’s 1-0 win over Watford. The Frenchman sparked mass outrage on social media after a video surfaced which shows him abusing his pet cat.
Even a section of West Ham fans booed Zouma every time he touched the ball. West Ham fined Zouma for his heinous act, the RSPCA took away his cats and are contemplating legal actions against him, and Vitality decided to end their endorsement deal with the East London club following the incident.
Other than the off-pitch distractions, West Ham have plenty of reasons to be hopeful about their trip to Leicester. They have won all of their last three matches, Jarrod Bowen is in the form of his life and is only one goal away from becoming the first West Ham player to score 12 Premier League goals since Carlton Cole in 2008/09, and they had won 4-1 in the reverse fixture earlier this season.
West Ham have won three or more goals against their Sunday opponents in their last three meetings. This season, only the Premier League top three have found the net more times than David Moyes’s men. We expect them to find their way past a leaky Leicester defence and add more momentum to their top-four charge.
We are rooting for a 3-1 victory to West Ham.
West Ham to Win @ 2.50 (3/2).