Leicester vs West Ham by Sors
Leicester: Schmeichel – Hernandez, Huth, Morgan, Fuchs – Mahrez, King, Amartey, Albrighton – Okazaki, Slimani
West Ham: Randolph – Nordtveit, Reid, Ogbonna, Cresswell – Noble, Kouyate, Antonio, Ayew, Payet – Carroll
Leicester’s struggles in the Premier League continue, even when the group stage of the Champions League is already behind them and the hosts are fully focused on their games in the league.
Leicester comes from a 0-2 loss at home against Everton on Monday, which was third for the hosts in five games in December (1-1-3 7/9) and left them on the edge of the relegation zone, with a fragile three-point advantage over Sunderland (18th place).
It’s obvious that the main reason for these poor results is in Leicester’s defense, as this team conceded at least two goals in seven of its last eight games in the league, including eight goals in four games at King Power Stadium in this period against West Bromwich (1-2), Middlesbrough (2-2), Manchester City (4-2) and Everton (0-2).Robert Huth (defender) and Christian Fuchs (defender / 1 goal) will return to the squad after both missed the last match against Everton, but the truth is that even with these two players in the starting lineup, the hosts have serious problems in defense.
On the other hand, this team won fifteen of its seventeen points at this stadium (4-3-2 15/10) and what is even more important for my bet, Leicester scored two or more goals in five of them.
James Vardy (forward / 5 goals) will serve the second game of a two-match ban on Saturday and his absence is definitely a big blow for the home team, but even without him Claudio Ranieri has a significant number of quality players in attack in Riyad Mahrez (midfielder / 3 goals), Ahmed Musa (forward / 2 goals), Shinji Okazaki (forward / 2 goals), Islam Slimani (forward / 4 goals), etc.
West Ham is in obvious upswing lately, as after a painful 1-5 home loss to Arsenal on Dec. 3, the guests earned a well-deserved point at Anfield on Dec. 11, followed by three consecutive victories against Burnley (1-0/home), Hull City (1-0/home) and Swansea on Monday (4-1/away).
In the matter of fact, West Ham failed to score just once in its previous nine away games this season, but at the same time the guests conceded two or more goals in six of those nine encounters and won just twice in this period (2-2-5 14/18).It’s not a surprise actually, given the fact that West Ham owns the third-worst defense in the league (33 goals).
Reece Oxford (defender), Gokhan Tore (midfielder), Manuel Lanzini (midfielder / 3 goals) and Diafra Sakho (forward / 1 goal) are out due to injuries, but the first two players are unavailable since early November.
I doubt that any of these two teams will manage to keep clean sheet in this match.
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