Match Preview: West Ham United vs Leicester City: Premier League Matchday Thirteen

Match Preview West Ham United

In the thirteenth round of matches of the 2017/2018 Premier League campaign, David Moyes will make his home debut as Hammers Boss with The FNF visit of Claude Puel’s Leicester City.

The hosts come into the vital clash off the back of defeat in the Scotsman’s first game in charge at Vicarage Road, leaving us in the bottom three, whilst The Foxes make the Southern trip fresh from a King Power Stadium loss to League leaders Manchester City.

When?

The tie will take place tonight (Friday 24 November 2017) with a kick-off time of 8:00 PM GMT, and Live Television Coverage being provided by Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Main Event as part of Friday Night Football.

Alternatively, you can follow Live Radio Commentary on both BBC Radio 5 Live, or you could stay right where you are for a Live Blog, including build-up, Text Commentary and reaction from both Managers live from The Press Box of West Ham United’s home.

Where?

The visit of Puel’s Foxes will take place at the club’s London Stadium, with a capacity of 57,000 and the option to go high into the 70,000’s it is one of the most spectacular arenas in English football.

Originally opening in 2012 for the London Olympics, the ground’s footballing existence has been somewhat marred by violence and crowd unrest, not to mention supporter’s attitudes towards it.

This was catalysed early in this season when the Claret & Blue stars were forced to play the first four games of the season away from home due to Stratford hosting The World Athletics Championships.

But, The Stadium is slowly starting to feel more like home for The Claret & Blue Army, and tonight will spell the second time that the away side have visited Stratford as goals from Robert Huth, Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy saw them take all three points back up the M1 the first time.

Team News:

Moyes confirmed in his Pre-Leicester Press Conference yesterday, which MooreThanJustAClub were lucky enough to attend, that Michail Antonio and James Collins will remain out along with the other already established absences.

However, Andre Ayew will make his comeback from an illness and Marko Arnautovic is also fit having been substituted in considerable pain In Hertfordshire on Sunday, while Javier Hernandez will start running again next week.

Whereas, Puel has a few injury concerns of his own as midfielder Matty James and star defender Huth remain out injured, but apart from that, his Squad is in near perfect shape.

The clear danger man for the visitors will be winger Mahrez while Vardy also remains a threat up front and Kasper Schmeichel is in stellar form between the sticks, they are expected to be unchanged from last Saturday.

Form:

The teams of West Ham United and Leicester City have met an incredible 128 times in Competition Football in a fixture that dates back to the early years of the 19th century.

Out of the staggering number of those encounters, our Hammers have the slight edge on the overall record with 51 victories to the Midlands club’s 48, the points have been shared on 30 occasions, however, we have failed to win any of our last seven.

The last playing of this matchup came in the spring, Leicester’s aforementioned first win at The London Stadium, racing ahead through Huth and Mahrez before Manuel Lanzini pegged one back and Vardy made it 3-1, a late Ayew finish not being enough to rescue a point for the home side.

Past encounters between these two have been notorious for producing unholy amounts of goals like in our remarkable 5-4 defeat at Filbert Street in 1966, you can take your pick for high-scoring affairs in that period, although goals have dried up more of late.

The Opposition:

Leicester City Football Club was formed in 1884 as Leicester Fosse FC and have enjoyed an up and down existence since then, to say the least, fluctuating between competing in Europe and struggling to stay in the Third Division.

Surely the pinnacle of their long tenure in English football came in 2015/2016 when they achieved the impossible, lifting the Premier League title for the first time in their history and defying odds of over 5,000-1 with Claudio Ranieri at the helm.

This achievement also entered them into The UEFA Champions League where their remarkable feats would continue, reaching The Quarter-Finals and bowing out to Atletico Madrid.

Nowadays, under former Southampton Boss Claude Puel following the sacking of Craig Shakespeare, Leicester are sitting 12th as the stardust of their glory begins to fade, but they certainly remain a force to be reckoned with in the Top-Flight.

Who Is Officiating?

Experienced Select Group Referee Martin Atkinson will be the man in the middle later today, with Peter Kirkup and Constantine Hatzidakis taking up the roles of his Assistants and fellow Referee Jonathan Moss acting as Fourth Official.

So, now that The London Stadium scene has been set for a pivotal League clash, can Moyes’ Hammers claim a third home victory of the campaign and move out of the bottom three?

Or, will the visitors spoil the Claret & Blue Army’s Friday evening by continuing their revival under Puel? Think you know? Head over to @MooreThanAClub on Twitter to get your last-minute score predictions in.

About the Author

Luke Glanville
Lead Writer and Site Manager of MTJAC, Sub-Editor for the Falbros Media Group.