The Premier League weekend concludes with the first Monday Night Football of the new season when the teams who finished fifth and sixth last season meet as West Ham United host Leicester City at the London Stadium.
Both teams have a little bit of expectation to live up to this term after final campaigns last time out, and both got off to the start they would have wanted with wins across the opening weekend. That sets the platform for both to play with a little bit of freedom here.
Where to watch
The match will be shown live and in full on the Monday Night Football programme which will be on Sky Sports Main Event and the Sky Sports Premier League channels. The programme gets underway at 7pm with the match kicking off at 8pm.
West Ham United
There were positives and negatives to take from the West Ham United win over Newcastle United last week. The obvious positives were that they won and that they scored four goals in doing so. The negatives would be that they conceded two and were a little more attackable than I’m sure David Moyes would have wanted from his charges. You can’t be too disappointed with an opening weekend win though and it will be interesting to see how the Hammers build on that.
The concern I think many people had about West Ham leading into the season was whether they would have enough in attacking areas after missing out on a couple of targets during the summer and not being able to bring Jesse Lingard back to the capital. Clearly they answered those issues with a very comprehensive attacking performance and now if they can come on for the run defensively then there is no reason why we should write the Hammers off this term.
I think it would be fair to say that Leicester City were nothing like as fluent in their opening match as the Hammers were, but fluent or not they got the job done and that is largely all that counts this early in a season, especially one where two major tournaments took place over the summer and the big teams will inevitably have to play their way into form and fitness. That is even more likely to be the case with Leicester because they have some huge injury problems to deal with.
The one concern for Brendan Rodgers would be that his side didn’t look as fluent as you would expect in front of goal against Wolves last week. They struggled at the back as well but that was more likely to happen when you consider the amount of injuries they have defensively, but they didn’t make too much of an impression up front. That is something the Foxes will hope to change here, and it might be that they find attacking away from home much easier.
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West Ham United boss David Moyes has reported no fresh injury concerns. That means he will only be without Arthur Masuaku with Declan Rice expected to play even though there are various reports that he is unhappy.
Leicester still have a number of players missing here. Ryan Bertrand remains out having tested positive for Covid-19 while Wesley Fofana, James Justin and Jonny Evans are all out injured. Timothy Castagne and James Maddison are fit though.
I’m expecting to see some goals in this match. West Ham looked a million dollars going forward last week and I think they have it about them to take the game to this patched up Leicester defence but we also saw at St James’ Park that the continuity in the West Ham defence isn’t quite there at the minute and if Leicester are anything it is a side that are good on the ball and that offers up plenty of danger in the forward areas.
The matches between these two have something of a history of being high scoring affairs with their last five battles all having three or more goals and I don’t see that trend ending here. I think both teams look better going forward than they do defensively and when you factor in what should be a decent atmosphere under the lights with the London Stadium at full capacity for the first time in ages, the spectacle should be good and the players should be motivated to provide over 2.5 goals.
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