West Ham United vs Leicester City Preview: Foxes head south as new bosses clash

West Ham United vs Leicester City Preview: Foxes head south as new bosses clash

With the festive period on the horizon, the games come thick and fast in a busy fixture schedule in the Premier League. On Friday night, David Moyes will take charge of his first home game in charge of West Ham, with Leicester City taking the trip to the London Stadium.

Tom Sykes

Following a convincing 2-0 defeat at home to Manchester City, Claude Puel's Leicester City head to the London Stadium on Friday night as they face a West Ham side currently sat in the bottom three of the Premier League.

Having started life under new management well, with a comfortable win over Everton and a pleasing display at Stoke City, the Foxes were defeated with ease by a Manchester City side who maintained an eight point lead at the Premier League summit. A well-worked opener from Gabriel Jesus and a second half stunner from Kevin De Bruyne led Pep Guardiola's side on there way to an 11th victory in the opening 12 games.

Hammers in freefall 

West Ham United head into the game on the back of a terrible performance against Watford at Vicarage Road on Sunday. The Hammers were easily beaten, 2-0, as the Londoners failed to make an impact in David Moyes's first game in charge, with a number of key players critcised yet again for dismal displays. Goals from Will Hughes and Richarlison earned Watford to three points, leaving the visitors 18th in the Premier League.

Home struggles continue for the Hammers

Following the move away from Upton Park ahead of the 2016/17 campaign, West Ham have struggle to adapt to life at the London Stadium, and the Foxes should fancy their chance on Friday night.

Last season, the Hammers boasted one of the worst home records in the top flight, with just seven victories collected in front of an expectent home support. Slaven Bilic's side collected a total of 25 points at the London Stadium last season, scoring just 19 goals. The Hammers boasted on of the worst defensive recordson home soil in the division, conceding 31 times, including 4-0 defeats against Manchester City and Liverpool and a 5-1 hammering against Arsenal.

The 2017/18 campaign has seen little change in fortunes, with just two victories in the opening 12 games. Despite the two vicories being at the London Stadium, a 2-0 win over Huddersfield Town, and a last gasp 1-0 win over Swansea, West Ham head into the game on the back of 3-0 and 4-1 defeats against Brighton and Liverpool respectively in their previous two encounter at home.

The Hammers have lost seven times already this season and have the worst defensive record in the league, with 25 goals conceded. Against Watford, the Hammers showed little quality at the back, and created little in the absence of Javier Hernandez and Michail Antonio.

Are the Foxes favourites?

Following the appointment of Claude Puel as new first team manager last month, the Foxes have made improvements and should be looking at collectinga victory on Friday that would move them into the top half of the Premier League table ahead of the weekend fixtures.

Despite the defeat against Manchester City, the Foxes have impressed over the past couple of weeks, with the improvements of a number of first team players a positive for the Foxes faithful, including attacking midfield duo, Riyad Mahrez and youngster Demarai Gray, who has noticeably took his opportunity in the starting line up with both hands.

The Foxes face a tough fixture schedule over the Christmas period and welcome Tottenham Hotspur to the King Power Stadium on Tuesday night, so victory against West Ham could be pivitol.

100% record for the Foxes last season

In the two meetings last season, Leicester City picked up maximum points off the Hammers.

In December 2016, Leiester City ended a remarkable calendar year with a hard-fought 1-0 victory at the King Power Stadium, with record signing, Islam Slimani, heading the Foxes towards three points midway through the first half.

In March, Leicester City claimed a first away victory of the season with a deserved 3-2 win at the London Stadium. Following a dominant first half, with Riyad Mahrez, Robert Huth and Jamie Vardy getting on the scoresheet, the Foxes were forced to rely on goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel to keep them ahead. Manuel Lanzini and Andre Ayew responded for the hosts, but Craig Shakespeare's side held on to a vital three points.

Team News

Leicester City boss Claude Puel has confirmed that long term absentees, Robert Huth and Matty James, remain on the sidelines. However, the Foxes will travel to London with no fresh injury concerns.

The hosts head into the game with Javier Hernandez, James Collins and Michail Antonio all remain injured. Andre Ayew has recovered from illness and Marko Arnautovic is available, despite a nasty-looking injury picked up against Watford.

Predicted Line-Ups

West Ham: Hart; Zabeleta, Reid, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Noble, Kouyate; Lanzini, Ayew, Arnautovic; Carroll.

Leicester City: Schmeichel; Simpson, Maguire, Morgan, Fuchs; Mahrez, Ndidi, Iborra, Gray; Okazaki, Vardy.