West Ham United have the opportunity to continue their upward climb against a Leicester City side who are on the verge of crisis on Saturday (December 31). But Leicester arguably have the superior firepower in a match that could produce plenty of goals.
The Foxes host Slaven Bilic’s side on New Year’s Eve and will be desperate to rediscover their title-winning form heading into the New Year. It won’t be easy for Claudio Ranieri’s men, though, as they are up against an Irons side who are coming off the back of an impressive three-game winning streak.
On Boxing Day the Hammers climbed up into 11th and eight points clear of the drop zone with their 4-1 annihilation of Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium. Leicester were left languishing just three points clear of 18th-placed Sunderland following their 2-0 defeat to Everton at the King Power Stadium.
Over the last four games West Ham have one of the best strike rates in the league. They have scored eight and had 60 attempts on goal. Only Manchester United and Manchester City top them for goals and efforts.
In comparison, Leicester have had 44 shots on goal and scored six in the same timeframe. These are also fairly impressive figures, but Ranieri is now without the suspended Jamie Vardy.
The Foxes missed the English forward’s pace up top in their last outing, and the manager also opted to drop Riyad Mahrez. The decision to omit the 2015-16 PFA Player of the Year from the starting XI may have been a ploy to get more from him, as there is no denying he is essential to their hopes of survival.
West Ham have conceded 12 headed goal attempts in the last four games, and only Sunderland have allowed more. If Mahrez is back in the fold he will be tasked with whipping in crosses for the supreme aerial threat of his compatriot Islam Slimani.
The summer signing has only managed four in the league so far but has the chance to step up in Vardy’s absence. The Algerian could be a good bet for Anytime Goalscorer at 6/4.
With West Ham’s form and Leicester’s quality, it would be unwise to bet against either of them in this one. With both teams suffering from poor defending this season there could be a few goals in it.
The draw at 5/2 with both teams to score (3/4) could prove fruitful.
Supplied by Oddschecker
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