Leicester City v West Ham United: Foxes can bounce back with goals against Hammers
Leicester need a win following back-to-back Premier League defeats recently, and Alan Dudman thinks they can against West Ham on Wednesday evening...
Leicester City v West Ham United Wednesday 19:30 Live on BT Sport 2
Foxes looking to overcome a bad case of post-Christmas blues
The term "Winter Wobble" was used by the local press to sum up Leicester's current form. And they really do have the wobbles.
At one stage they were being considered as the team that could catch Liverpool. As soon as the challenge was mentioned, their results started to take a turn for the worse. No one is stopping the Reds at the moment anyway.
Saturday's 2-1 loss at Burnley was the second time in a month that the Foxes recorded back-to-back losses. They lost 2-1 at Turf Moor, and were defeated by the same scoreline by Southampton. That was perhaps the most disappointing display as manager Brendan Rodgers felt his team conceded too many chances and didn't press the Saints enough, or hard enough.
Although Southampton are very much a team on the up at the moment, and nothing like the shambles that lost 9-0 to the Foxes early in the season.
The squad is probably paying the price for a hectic run over Christmas, and the games have caught up with them. A certain degree of tiredness and lethargy has crept in - hence the lack of the pressing.
It will be interesting to see if Rodgers brings Youri Tielemans back into the fold. He was left out for the second straight game recently, and I think they have missed him.
Moyes the winner has toughened up Hammers
New manager David Moyes made some bold statements in his press conference when he was unveiled in east London for the second time in his career. I didn't totally agree with him saying "I win, that's what I do", whilst the jury is out in terms of his plan and aim to build "something special". It might or might not be in this transfer window - but so far the incoming Darren Randolph is the only signing.
In fairness to Moyes, he has made West Ham harder to beat, granted with some "easier" games. It's certainly the right time to play Bournemouth at the moment, and they were duly pulverised by the Hammers at the London Stadium in Moyes' first game in charge. They overcame a tricky tie at Gillingham in the FA Cup and were held by Everton last weekend 1-1.
The new boss' only defeat came at Sheffield United, but that should have been a 1-1 had it not been for the ridiculous VAR decision going against Declan Rice. I'm not bitter, honest.
The Bournemouth win saw West Ham get the ball into better areas and they played to the strengths of Sebastien Haller. But since, they have looked slightly more pragmatic in their approach.
It's a tricky period coming up for the Hammers with some ultra-tough fixtures on the horizon. Whilst a Cup run would be most welcome with Saturday's game in mind against West Brom, their current league position is still fraught with danger as they are level on points with Watford, and they have picked up 14 points under Nigel Pearson in a real turnaround.
Randolph could well start if 100 per cent fit. Calamity goalkeeper Roberto has been moved on to Alaves (he didn't last long under the new boss), whilst Lukasz Fabianski could be a couple of weeks away from full fitness.
Hosts long odds-on but deserve to be
Leicester are short here, very short at 1.57, and it looks a price very much with old form in mind. But that old form wasn't so far away, and I am often guilty myself of overreacting to one or two defeats. They aren't a bad side are they?
It's a price that will certainly get the layers on alert however, and the Foxes are a laying price at nearly twos-on. If you need anymore advice on laying, check out Betfair's How To Guide.
I think this match revolves around Jamie Vardy and James Maddison. The latter was poor against Burnley, but when he's at his best, he really dictates the play. That in turn releases Vardy, who prior to Christmas had scored 11 goals in eight matches. Since, he has managed just one in his last seven in all competitions.
Leicester are clearly missing Wilfred Ndidi too, his shielding play protects the back four and his ability to free up the other players to press is a feature. Offensively he also gives the two centre-backs time to set-off the plays too with their long-range passing. Ndidi has missed the last three matches through knee injury, and his loss has coincided with the team's nosedive in form. And they were certainly played through too easily against Southampton.
The midfielder is back in training, and could return for the Aston Villa second leg in the Carabao Cup.
West Ham may be a juicy 6.80, and it has been the season of shocks with some wins away from home double that, but I can't see West Ham troubling the hosts if they get back to their best for this.
In the West Ham +1 market, you can back Leicester -1 at 2.46, and if Vardy is back on song with Maddison, they should be good for a couple of goals here against a team that could adopt a safety first attitude. And we need two to collect on that bet.