West Ham face Premier League champions Leicester City with this being a crucial game for Leicester in their attempts to be safe from relegation. We lost 1-0 the last time we came up against Leicester in December. Can we get a win this time? Here are three things to look out for…
Can Michail Antonio make the PFA Team of the Year?
With only ten games left in the season, the Team of the Year (TOTY) will be announced soon and last season we had Dimitri Payet make the team. This season, the standout contender from our team is undoubtedly Michail Antonio. Like last season, he has been one of our most consistent players. When he plays, we are certainly a better team through his attacking contribution.
He has nine goals and three assists this season and let’s not forget that he has played in numerous positions. According to WhoScored, Antonio has only played as a RAM/RM thirteen times this season. Had he played here in every game it is likely that he would have more goals and assists and not many players would have more. His main competitors for this position in the team are Sadio Mane and Raheem Sterling who have been outstanding this season, especially the former. With Antonio being called up to the England squad, can he build on this and perform well in the last ten games to make his case for being in the TOTY?
Can Slaven Bilic make the big calls?
The Hammers have now failed to win any of their last four Premier League games with only three wins coming out of their last ten. Something does need to change in order to solidify our place in the top half of the table and Slaven Bilic does need to make big calls going into this weekend’s game.
We need to start playing with a natural right-back once again with Sam Byram being the obvious choice for this position. This will allow Cheikhou Kouyate to move back into midfield, allowing Bilic to rest Mark Noble given his poor performances recently. Let’s not forget Andrew Ayew who has done enough when coming on as a substitute in previous games and now deserves a start against Leicester.
Will Leicester build on their Champions League result?
Leicester have not had the greatest of seasons and the Premier League Champions have found themselves in a relegation battle. They currently sit only three points above the relegation zone with three wins from their last ten games. But this has not been the case in the Champions League and they now find themselves in the quarter-finals.
Given their performance against Sevilla midweek and Craig Shakespeare being confirmed as their manager, will they take inspiration from this and perform well in the Premier League in order to survive? This could be dangerous for us as we all know how good Leicester are when they have confidence. We need to be wary of their speed on the counter with the likes of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez. Although they are not performing well this season, they are still a threat. But this is a game that we should win given their Premier League form this season.
My prediction? 2-1.