In David Moyes’ first game as West Ham boss, it was business as usual as we lost 2-0 to Watford FC at Vicarage Road. However, we could be able to pick up some points against Leicester City this weekend. As always, we’ll talk about the formation, Starting XI, players to watch and we’ll check in with the Head-To-Head results of the past.
In a perfect world, West Ham United should have a squad capable of playing with fluidity, direction and calmness, yet also be able to pull back and defend properly. But, we aren’t in such a world.
This week, I’m sticking with a 4-2-3-1 formation as it’s one of two preferred formations by David Moyes.
As always, we often chat about the team sheet ahead of the match against our opponents. Leicester City are going to roll with the usual striker up top, Jamie Vardy. However, David Moyes has some options up top.
In goal, we’re sticking with Joe Hart this week. It appears his thinking towards the England International is the same as his predecessors as well: Keep Hart for the Premier League. In front of him, we have Aaron Cresswell in the Left-Back position as it seems Moyes would like to keep running with Cress, over Arthur Masuaku. Beside him, we’re going to go with Angelo Ogbonna and Winston Reid whom both receive another week in the Starting XI this week. Both Ogbonna and Reid are hot and cold this season, however Reid will be feeling somewhat ashamed following New Zealand’s loss to Peru two weeks ago. As per usual, we’re putting Pablo Zabaleta in the Right-Back slot as Sam Byram shows no signs of displacing the Argentinian Defender from the team.
Our two Defensive Midfielders for this match are Mark Noble and Pedro Obiang. Once again, Noble will be wearing the Captain’s armband, working with Pedro Obiang beside him. Both of these players are good at their craft, but will they continue to work side-by-side to break-up play on the pitch? Only time will tell.
We now head into the attacking players of this team and the Left Midfielder deserves be Nathan Holland. In my mind, Marko Arnautovic has turned into a flop as he’s vastly underperformed in a West Ham United shirt since his arrival from Stoke City and has shown why he doesn’t deserve to wear the shirt. He continues to break up play, make lazy passes and is highly reckless on the pitch - all of these things of which Nathan Holland isn’t and doesn’t do. Nathan is a player who’d absolutely benefit from an opportunity in the Premier League, especially as he’s pinched 3 goals from 11 appearances for the Premier League 2 side. Beside him, Manuel Lanzini slips into the Central Attacking Midfield position as per usual. The Argentinian attacker has shown he’s working hard to help the team, and it’s working as well. Beside him, Michail Antonio rounds out the central 3 as the Right Midfielder is a hard, tough working player with a lot of skill and finesse as well. And up top, we’d love to see Toni Martinez make his senior debut for West Ham United, especially as he’s managed something stupid like 23 goals from 25 appearances in the Premier League 2 for West Ham, however this won’t happen. Instead, David Moyes will choose Andy Carroll up top for this crucial game against Leicester City.
Team: Hart, Zabaleta, Ogbonna, Reid, Cresswell, Obiang, Noble (c), Holland, Lanzini, Antonio, Carroll.
Bench: Adrian, Byram, Masuaku, Makasi, Arnautovic, Ayew, Martinez
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Toni Martinez (WHU) and Kelechi Iheanacho (LEI)
Both players are potentially going to come on the pitch as substitutes, but we will need to watch out for them as they will be attempting to grab a goal for their respective campaigns.
Kelechi Iheanacho almost signed for the Hammers over the Summer Transfer Window from Manchester City, however negotiations fell through as both sides were unable to come to an agreement over potential buy-back clauses for the player. As a result, the sale of him to Leicester City ended up hitting the news in record speeds and thus rubbing it in West Ham’s face. However, it turned out Iheanacho was injured in his first game for the Foxes, and thus sparing West Ham United from embarrassment.
Since joining Leicester, he’s only managed one goal from six appearances for the Foxes.
Toni Martinez has really stood out for the West Ham United academy team as he’s managed to turn heads both domestically and internationally with his fantastic goal scoring ability. He had a rough time at the beginning of the season, but he rapidly found form and the goals kept on coming. His recent achievement came in the Premier League 2 game against Manchester United U-23 side where he became the first player to score a hat-trick at the London Stadium for West Ham United, helping West Ham to win the match 5-2 at full-time.
If we look at the Head-To-Head stats for this fixture, West Ham United are the favourites to win this match as the Irons have picked up 10 wins from 20 games in the Premier League, with 3 draws. West Ham have won 7 Home games and 3 Away games whereas Leicester City have won 7 games with 4 wins at the King Power Stadium, and 3 wins away.
Last season saw Leicester City dominate West Ham United 4-2 on aggregate. Previous to that, Leicester City had beaten the 5000/1 odds to win the 2015/16 Premier League season with 81 points.
Chris: “I think 1-0 win possibly.”
TKH: “West Ham United have a lot of issues going on. Both behind doors and on the pitch, it’s just somewhat difficult. However, I think if David Moyes want’s to put points on the table, then I think bringing Holland and Martinez into the Senior Squad could be a good idea. Should this happen, then I’d happily say a 2-1 win. But, overall, I’m saying a 3-0 loss.”