Leicester City vs West Ham Preview | Team News, Stats & Key Men

Leicester City vs West Ham Preview | Team News, Stats & Key Men

This fixture sees 9th vs 20th battle it out with both sides in need of a win. Leicester are rooted in 20th place with seven points separating them and Sunderland in 17th. Leicester look to be in dire straits with the Foxes winning nothing but an FA Cup tie away to Spurs since January. 

West Ham on the other hand seem to have run out of fuel. The Hammers started the season superbly, speared by an impressive Stewart Downing, but the wheels have frozen and Sam Allardyce’s side have just two wins in the last nine – although they did beat Sunderland 1-0 last time out. 

leivswha

Team News 

Leicester City

Nigel Pearson has just the one injury worry heading into April with Dean Hammond a slight doubt for the weekend programme with a calf strain. Other than that, Pearson has a full match day squad to choose from.

West Ham

West Ham have four injury concerns ahead of the clash. Winston Reid (hamstring) and Enner Valencia (ankle) are both doubts whilst Andy Carroll (MCL Knee Ligament damage) and James Tomkins (dislocated shoulder) are both out for the foreseeable future.

Interesting Stats

  • Leicester have won just one of their last ten home games in the Premier a League (W1, D3, L6).
  • West Ham are unbeaten in their last seven league games against Leicester (W4,D3, L0).
  • The Hammers scored with their only two shots on target in the reverse fixture back in December. 
  • West Ham have won none of their last seven Premier League away games (W0, D4, L3).
  • Leicester haven’t scored at home for five hours and 15 minutes worth of action.

Key Men

Leonardo Ulloa

Ulloa really needs to rediscover that golden touch.

Ulloa really needs to rediscover that golden touch.

Leonardo Ulloa’s short Leicester career matches the Foxes’ Premier League campaign to the letter. The newly promoted side started well enough, as did Ulloa. Draws with Everton and Arsenal impressed early on, September brought more promise with an away win over Stoke City and a 5-3 comeback victory over Manchester United but the form didn’t last and neither did Ulloa’s. Ulloa bagged against Everton, Arsenal, Stoke and United, twice, before dramatically tailing off.

The goals couldn’t be replaced but Ulloa will still be key to helping Leicester stay up. This would be the perfect time for him to start scoring again so I’m banking on him to be the leading man for Pearson here. So far this season, Ulloa has scored seven goals in 28 appearances which is poor considering five of those came in a purple vein of form back in August and September – but that burst of form proves that the summer recruit has goals in him, Leicester just need to create a little more. Ulloa has created 28 chances for his teammates too which isn’t a disaster. To his credit, Ulloa does try to defend from the front and has made 28 clearances as well as 10 interceptions.

Stewart Downing

Downing has proved many of his doubters wrong after a strong season with West Ham.

Downing has proved many of his doubters wrong after a strong season with West Ham.

Stewart Downing has enjoyed a very good campaign this term and his reinvention as an attacking midfielder behind the strikers has proved very successful.

Downing has contributed in front of goal as well as around the pitch which has made him a very popular man down in London. The former Liverpool man has bagged five league goals so far this season as well as seven assists from 73 chances created. The hard working midfielder has also been important in solidifying West Ham’s central area. The England international has completed 21 interceptions and 37 clearances to aid his defence, despite his offensive positioning. Downing’s pass completion of 85% is also a solid figure for a 30 year old who is rebuilding his reputation.

Prediction

My prediction for this game is a draw. Both teams are in awful form despite Leicester putting three past Spurs before the international break. I’ll go for 1-1 because I don’t think either side has many goals in them.