After a spell of three wins from four league matches it’s fair to West Ham’s bubble has burst (pardon the pun) as they have failed to win any of their last four outings. Slaven Bilic’s side have picked up just 2 points from a possible 12 with the last two games resulting in back to back defeats.
Today they play host to a Leicester side who have not only won successive league matches but also managed to overturn the first leg deficit that Sevilla handed them to book their place in the Champions League Quarter Finals and face Atletico Madrid.
West Ham will be slightly buoyed by the fact that Leicester have failed to win away from home in the league this season but they do not come into this game with anything resembling decent form so if there was a day that Leicester could break that streak then Today could be the one.
Just under a fortnight The Hammers faced Chelsea at The London Stadium, the 2-1 scoreline suggests a tight game but Chelsea were in full control at 2-0 and Manuel Lanzini’s late goal was nothing more than scant consolation for the home side.
But last Saturday it would have made for worse reading as they traveled to The Vitality Stadium to face Bournemouth, a club that had not won in any of their last 8 matches previous to Saturday. Josh King was the hero of the day as his last minute goal saw him complete a hat-trick to send the East London club back home empty handed.
Once again defensive lapses seemed to be their undoing last weekend and Leicester will hope that they come at them which will allow the defending league champions to play the counter attack game that has once again been utilised under new manager Craig Shakespeare.
It may be back to basics but that is what worked last season and it is what has worked over the past three matches in all competitions with a perfect 100% record for the former assistant to Claudio Ranieri. It’s been a quick turnaround by Shakespeare with the club now 15th in the table and 3 points clear of the drop zone.
We will only really know if the decision to sack Ranieri was the right one come the end of the season but right now you have to say the choice by the club’s Thai owners to part company with the former Chelsea manager is looking an inspired one.
The next act for Shakespeare will be to put more daylight between Leicester and the clubs below them, with Ranieri in charge many felt that relegation was a certainity as they slid further down the table but now you get the feeling that the momentum is back with the East Midlands club and that will not now be the case.
You could argue they perhaps rode their luck not just in midweek but across both ties with Sevilla in Champions League action but you do need a massive slice of luck in cup competitions if you are to go all the way especially if you are a perceived underdog as Leicester are.
But Today is back to the bread and butter for The Foxes and you do have to wonder if this game might just be after the Lord Mayor’s Show, they still are looking for that first away win and West Ham’s poor run of form has to end some time. I reckon this one will end up being a draw, a point which is more vital for the away side than the home.