James Maddison is the buzz of Leicester following his unexpected selection to the England World Cup team, and the Foxes’ recent upward trend is mirrored by the midfielder’s improved international fortunes.
The team led by Brendan Rodgers had a terrible start to 2022–23, earning only one point from their first seven Premier League games and finishing last in the standings.
Leicester might move up to 11th place with a win on Saturday and be ready to challenge for the top half after the World Cup thanks to a recent run of four victories, a tie, and a respectable 1-0 loss to Manchester City from their seven league matches.
And given West Ham’s recent results, the guests might just be able to pull that off.
This season, the Hammers have had trouble going in the Premier League, and the loss to Crystal Palace last weekend, coupled with the midweek Carabao Cup exit at home to second-tier Blackburn, adds to the notion that David Moyes’ team is starting to wane.
This game is difficult to predict because Leicester has recently played differently. Credit should go to Rodgers, the board for holding off on firing him, and the established Foxes players who have stepped up to deliver some standout performances.
But maybe the most crucial element has been the contribution made by recent acquisition Wout Faes, who has bolstered an alarmingly weak defense excellently.
The Foxes have only given up three goals in their last eight games since a 6-2 loss at Tottenham that served as Faes’ baptism of fire.
Prior to his arrival, Leicester’s defense had been remarkably resilient after giving up 16 goals in seven games.
The away visits to Anfield and Old Trafford have tainted West Ham’s recent record, but the Hammers haven’t produced any genuinely noteworthy Premier League results this season.
Aston Villa, Wolves, and Bournemouth were all suffering and out of form when Moyes’ team defeated them. They also won incredibly unluckily against Fulham as a result of several questionable refereeing calls.
However, in their other 10 league games, West Ham struggled against superior opposition, producing just two draws and eight losses.
Last Saturday at Everton, Leicester made a strong impression, scoring 2.3 predicted goals to the Toffees’ 1.2 for a very deserving 2-0 victory.
After a strong showing against Manchester City, who fought to break down Leicester and won 1-0 thanks to a beautiful free-kick, that performance followed.
Leicester has only given up one goal in their last six games, defeating opponents in the Carabao Cup by the scores of 3-0 against Newport County, 2-0 against Everton, 4-0 against Wolves, and 2-0 against Leeds, with a 0-0 draw against Crystal Palace coming before that.
West Ham has played 23 games this season compared to Leicester’s 16, and the strain is beginning to show. Last Sunday, when the Hammers lost 2-1 at home to Crystal Palace, they put on their poorest performance of the year.
With the outcome, Moyes’ team had suffered three losses in their previous four Premier League games—despite the fact that two of those challenging journeys were to Manchester United and Liverpool.
Maxwel Cornet, an attacker, hasn’t played since the beginning of October due to a calf injury, while Emerson Palmieri is a small doubt after leaving the game in the middle of the week with a knock. However, Moyes has an almost fully healthy team to pick from.
This season, Rodgers has had no luck with his wing-backs, and James Justin on the left side may miss the remainder of 2022–23 after rupturing his Achilles tendon on Wednesday.
Justin joins fellow wingers and regular absentees Ryan Bertrand and Ricardo Pereira on the sidelines, while Caglar Soyuncu, the center defender, is anticipated to miss the game once more due to a hamstring issue.