Having started the season with an opening day win away at the Emirates, West Ham host Leicester City at Upton Park with the Foxes themselves enjoying a 4-2 win over Sunderland last weekend.
Slaven Bilic has urged his side to maintain their high levels from what was a deserved win requiring great discipline and high levels of concentration to blunt Arsenal. It was the standout result from the first weekend of the new season and the Croat will be targeting nine points from nine with Bournemouth the visitors next weekend.
Leicester blew away the Black Cats scoring thrice inside the opening 25 minutes and they have been known to start games brightly especially towards the end of last season.
Claudio Ranieri couldn’t have hoped for a better start to his second stint in the Premier League and will be aiming for the club to achieve consecutive wins to open a season for the first time since 1997.
City fans have been left angered by the cost of ticket prices for this fixture which have been raised from £25 to £45 since last season. Those who make the journey to south London though will be hoping that their side have something to cheer about come the end of the match.
Diafra Sakho was reportedly arrested last Thursday on suspicion of assault but he started against Arsenal and is expected to start again this Saturday.
New signing Pedro Obiang was out of the opener because of a leg injury, but the former Sampdoria midfielder has returned to full training and should feature against Leicester.
Carl Jenkinson is also available having been ineligible to face his Arsenal. Andy Carroll and Enner Valencia remain the only two absentees.
Matthew James is the only player injured for the Foxes and they could have new signing N’Golo Kante available after spending the full week training with the squad.
Last Five Meetings
04 Apr 2015 Leicester City 2 – 1 West Ham Utd. Premier League
20 Dec 2014 West Ham Utd. 2 – 0 Leicester City Premier League
23 Apr 2012 Leicester City 1 – 2 West Ham Utd. Championship
29 Oct 2011 West Ham Utd. 3 – 2 Leicester City Championship
2004/2005 Fri 18 Mar West Ham Utd. 2 – 2 Leicester City Championship
- Leicester have won 8 of their last 10 Premier League games.
- If Leicester don’t lose, this will be the first they would have gone on a six-match unbeaten streak since going eight in a row at the start of the 2000-01 season.
- West Ham have won 7 out of the last 8 Premier League meetings between the two at Upton Park.
- West Ham have scored at least 2 goals in their last 3 home matches against Leicester in all competitions.
West Ham: Dmitri Payet
Payet hit the ground running at the Emirates in his side’s 2-0 win assisting the opening goal with a wicked free kick which was delivered by a unique style. Having made the team of the season in Ligue 1 last season, West Ham would have had a fabulous season if the former Marseille midfielder were to repeat his feat. It will be tall order with the plethora of talent in the Premier League but a player who laid down 17 goals in the league last season along with scoring 7 of his own couldn’t have been a flash in the pan.
He led his side’s counter-attacks against Arsenal, completing four dribbles along with creating a further two chances. His defensive work was also top notch as he was efficient in helping keep West Ham’s shape without the ball. One can expect more brilliance from the Frenchmen as the season progresses.
Leicester City: Riyad Mahrez
Six shots on the opening day yielded two goals for Mahrez, one of which was a penalty and the 24-year-old hit the post in the second half to be denied a fantastic hat-trick. With 3 dribbles as well as 4 crosses, he created four chances for his team mates and was a live wire throughout the game.
The Algerian had won the penalty which he scored in a seven minute spell that got him his brace and will be keen to continue his impressive form from last season as he played a crucial role in preserving his side’s status as a Premier League club.
Bilic to mastermind another strong performance with the three points to show for it.