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Leicester City v West Ham United
The Premier League concludes on Sunday afternoon and one of the most important clashes comes at the King Power Stadium as West Ham travel to Leicester.
Leicester won the reverse meeting between these two sides 2-0 in a fixture that has traditionally produced lots of goals. In the last eight meetings between these two, there have been 31 goals.
This piece covers the team news for both teams as well as offering a tasty-looking Leicester v West Ham bet builder for what should be an entertaining game.
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Last chance for Leicester
Last time out Leicester manager Dean Smith was very bold in his tactics and settled for a 0-0 draw at Newcastle, where their only shot came in the dying moments of the game. Both Harvey Barnes and James Maddison were rested for a game that Smith had no intention of winning, and were fortunate not to concede given that Newcastle had 23 shots and amassed 2.35 expected goals.
That result now leaves their Premier league survival hopes out of their hands and it remains to be seen whether the move was a good one by Smith. Had they lost, they would have been all but relegated but the point ensures that if Everton lose at home to Bournemouth, Leicester will stay up with a victory. However, given that they have won just once since the 11th of February, 3 points may be a tall order for the Foxes, who have had a sensational decade in the Premier League.
We’ve got to win the game, plain and simple. We have to work out a balance and not give big chances away.Dean Smith on what his team need to do to avoid relegation
Leicester City team news
Centre back Caglar Soyuncu is not available here and he will likely move away this summer given he is out of contract, but Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, Kelechi Ihenacho, Ricardo Pereira and Jonny Evans will all be available here.
James Justin, Jannik Vestergaard, Ryan Bertrand and Danny Ward will miss out, whilst Wilfried Ndidi is a doubt.
Hammers on the verge of history
West Ham come into this one on the back of four wins in their last five games, including two historic victories over AZ Alkmaar which booked their place in the UEFA Conference League final in Prague – their first European cup final since 1976. Their Premier League status for next season is confirmed and they will finish somewhere between 12th and 16th.
David Moyes’ focus will now be on his side’s matchup with Fiorentina on the 7th of June and the Scotsman will want to keep his team fresh for that game, whilst also trying to build some momentum heading into it. A win here would ensure that his side would be travelling to the Czech Republic on the back of three wins on the bounce in all competitions and full of confidence.
I think if you’d given me this position a few weeks ago I’d have snapped your hand off, because we don’t go into the last day with any real problems.
More importantly we go into it as well knowing we’ve got a cup final in a week or so’s time.David Moyes on his feelings ahead of the final day of the Premier League season
West Ham United team news
Nayef Aguerd will return meaning that Gianluca Scamacca is the only absentee here with a knee injury. Other than that, Moyes can choose his best lineup with most jeopardy coming in the front three alongside Bowen.
Michail Antonio may play instead of Danny Ings, whilst Pablo Fornals, who has impressed in recent weeks, may displace Said Benrahma on the flanks. The whole squad will be desperate to play well in order to maximise their chances of starting that pivotal game against Fiorentina in a few weeks.
Leicester City v West Ham United Cheat Sheet
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Leicester City v West Ham United bet builder tips
Leicester City v West Ham United
Simply put, this is a must win game for Leicester. Dean Smith took a massive gamble that might well pay off when he rested Harvey Barnes and James Maddison for that game at Newcastle, but it has ensured that they must win here. That stalemate was their first league clean sheet since before the World Cup and they were very fortunate, given the many opportunities Newcastle had.
They have been good going forward though, amassing at least 2.1 xG in five of their last seven – with the exceptions being incredibly tough games against Liverpool and that game at St James’ Park. They will have to go for it here and with some of their firepower rested against Newcastle, they should create plenty of opportunities.
West Ham have scored in 16 of their last 18 games, with the exceptions being tough games at Manchester City and Brentford. In that time they have scored 32 goals – an average of 1.78 per game. However, they have been more suspect at the back.
They have played 29 games in 2023 and have conceded 37 goals, including at least once in 14 of their 20 Premier League games. They will be playing with a sense of freedom that Leicester do not have and this should allow them to create plenty of opportunities as their players try to impress ahead of that game in Prague.
Harvey Barnes is having a good season in a poor Leicester side and has scored a personal-best 12 goals in the Premier League. He has amassed 69 shots (2.37 per 90) with 32 of these on target (1.10 per 90). In his last eight starts, he has scored four times and had 19 shots with this selection landing in five of them.
There is no two-ways about it: Leicester need to win this game and given their defensive woes, they will likely need to score at least twice – meaning that the Foxes have to attack.
Not only is he the Foxes’ top scorer, he has had 33 shots more than anyone else in the side other than Maddison (78) and averages the third most shots per 90 behind Maddison (2.94) and Iheanacho (3.08).
Jamie Vardy, such a crucial and iconic player in Leicester’s recent history, has not reached the heights of previous seasons this year but has only been given limited opportunities in a poor side.
Eight of his 19 starts this season have been in the last nine games and he has scored twice in that time. In his last four before the Newcastle game, where the Foxes were incredibly negative, he had six shots on target, finding the back of the net twice and had at least one attempt on goal in each of those.
Given the context of the game, they must attack and try to win the game and Jamie Vardy should lead the line for the Foxes.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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