West Ham v Leicester City Match Preview and Betting Tips
March 14, 2017
Saturday March 18 – the London Stadium – Premier League
Leicester City’s resurgence has eased the fear of Premier League relegation and they might have enough to dispatch West Ham. Slaven Bilic’s side doesn’t look at all settled and the locals aren’t happy.
Not since December 2014 have the Hammers beaten the Foxes, when goals from Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing gave the London club the three points. In the five meetings across all competitions since then, Leicester have four, including on New Year’s Eve through a solitary Islam Slimani effort.
Consistency of selection has been an issue all season for Bilic, with injuries depriving the manager of Carroll and Andre Ayew for most of the campaign, and problems in defence too. Claudio Ranieri had similar problems, of his own making more than anything else, before he was sacked. Craig Shakespeare has gone back-to-basics to good effect.
There are no new injury doubts for Bilic after the heart-breaking 3-2 defeat at Bournemouth last time out, when Josh King’s 90th minute goal condemned West Ham to a fourth game without a win.
Carroll played the full 90 minutes and is in line for a heavyweight clash against Leicester captain Wes Morgan, while Mark Noble – only last year a fans’ favourite – has been criticised by the crowd who want to see the midfielder benched.
Leicester, with Shakespare confirmed as Ranieri’s replacement until at least the end of the season, have only Molla Wague missing for sure.
West Ham v Leicester Preview and Predictions
Shakespeare has returned Leicester to the high-energy game that worked so incredibly well last season and has Jamie Vardy looking a little like the player who stormed up the scoring charts and into the England squad.
Riyad Mahrez is showing flashes of the brilliance that regularly dazzled last season too and the back line is getting stronger. The signs appear to be pointing to a Leicester smash and grab, with probably a goal from a set-piece and another on the counter-attack.
If Leicester’s path to victory is straightforward to predict then it’s much harder for West Ham. They lack a clear way of playing, a consequence of the chopping and changing Bilic has undertaken as he tries to find a way of pushing the team up the table. The best bet might be to get the ball into the box for Carroll to attack – not pretty, but effective.
West Ham are available at a best price of 13/10 for this one, but Leicester’s odds of 12/5 – 2/1 in some places – suggest the bookmakers can see an away success. The draw meanwhile is 5/2, but Leicester will want three points to banish any lingering relegation concerns.
Jamie Vardy to score and Leicester to win at 7/2
Vardy remains at the heart of every Leicester win, or so it seems, and he has rediscovered his pace and lethal touch since Ranieri’s departure.
Leicester to win and both teams to score at 21/4
It’s not hard to see Leicester taking the lead, West Ham equalising and then getting caught on the break late on as they push for a winner of their own.