Once again we are treated to another offering of Friday Night Football and i’m not sure if this by coincidence or not but it is West Ham who are the hosts for the second early weekend fixture in a row. They will be hoping that things go a lot better then when they faced Brighton at the London Stadium last month.
That night saw the Hammers who were then under the stewardship of Slaven Bilic go down 3-0 to newly promoted Brighton and it was a result that edged the Croatian one step nearer to the exit door and a P45 placed into his hands.
Now though the East London outfit are led by David Moyes until at least the end of the season and the former Everton and Manchester United boss among others will be looking for his first points since taking charge after defeat away to Watford last weekend.
The fact that Watford’s Huerelho Gomes was Man Of The Match last Sunday tells some of the story as West Ham were perhaps unlucky not to score especially in the first half but the fact that fans were booing their own players and telling the board to go tells another.
Andy Carroll was the player who came in for the most criticism, some unfairly but it does highlight the wider issue which is the belief that the eleven men on the pitch are not doing their all. Comments from David Moyes would also attest to that as he said that he needs his men to help him out also.
Tonight they play host to a Leicester side that last weekend suffered their first defeat since Claude Puel took charge in October. They were the latest outfit to try and ultimately fail to stop the blue machine that is Manchester City although I guess they can take some credit for at least only conceding two where many others have shipped more.
That said defending has arguably been Leicester’s achilles heel this season as for all their attacking endeavour – they are the team that has scored the most goals out of all the sides in the bottom half of the table with 16, they have conceded more with 18 goals against from their first 12 matches.
At the same time though there is little cause for concern at present for the Foxes as they find themselves in the relative comfort of 12th in the Premier League table with the defeat to Manchester City their first loss in five league matches.
On the early evidence you could argue that the decision to sack Craig Shakespeare was the correct one even if the appointment of Puel did little to get the pulses racing in the East Midlands. That said though they cannot afford to rest on their laurels either as it only takes a couple of defeats in a row to get sucked back into the mire once again.
And a win for West Ham could contract the bottom half of the table even further. Maximum points for the Hammers could see them move to as high as 16th for at least an evening but they also know that failure to win could see them begin to be cast adrift from the teams that currently sit above them and that is when the real problems start.
For David Moyes and I guess to a certain extent Claude Puel the next five weeks will be an opportunity to see which players will be shipped out in the January transfer window and what areas need to be strengthened going into the New Year.
Also take into account that a lower the team in the table the harder it is attract players so it could make life even more difficult for Moyes should they not start getting points on the board and to be honest I don’t think they will get anything out of tonight either. I reckon this one will be an away win for Leicester.
Here is what social media thinks will happen – you can still vote on the outcome
— Dan Tracey (@dantracey1983) November 23, 2017