In football, it takes one good season to change the order of things, as Leicester City dutifully taught us in their title winning season and securing Champions League football. They’re no longer the mid table team we were all accustomed to, as they became the disruptive force in the famous big four. West Ham United are on the same course as they look to break into the top four.
A season ago, West Ham were struggling to stay in the top flight, and credit to the work David Moyes has done at the team, they are now serious contenders for a top four finish and they can’t be faulted for having high ambitions after years of dismal performance. Just like Leicester City, an appearance in the Champions League next season will shift the mentality in and around the West Ham United fold.
The team considered among the minnows in London will go into the 31st round of matches as the top ranked London side and currently sitting in the top four ahead of Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Crystal Palace and the relegation threatened Fulham.
Jesse Lingard has been a great transformational figure at the club since joining on loan from Manchester United. His previous working relationship with Moyes has definitely been key in this and he seems to be the man to take the team to the next level. Whether or not he will stay on after his loan spell is another issue but for now he is the man of the moment.
The Hammers have gotten it right in attack but if their last three matches have shown us anything, they need to address their defensive shortcomings. In their next match, West Ham will take on Leicester City.
Bet365, 1xBet, and Megapari are among a number of the best bookmakers listed on SportyTrader which will also have this match at the top of their lists, with both sides in the top four and eyeing Champions League football next season. A West Ham win has the best odds of 2.92 at 1xbet and 22bet while the same sites have the best odds for a Leicester win at 2.58 and a draw at 3.5.
Going to this game, West Ham United have 52 points following their 3-2 away win at Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday. It would have been better with good defending against Arsenal in their previous game, which ended 3-3 after the Hammers took a 3-0 first half lead. They almost bottled it against Wolves after leading 3-0 in the 38th minute, thus the need to strengthen defensively.
It is clear they are missing Italian defender Angelo Ogbonna but facing Leicester City, with an in-form Kelechi Iheanacho, Jamie Vardy and James Maddison returning to full fitness, a poor defensive show will be very unforgiving.
Four points separate the two sides, and with a game against relegation threatened Newcastle United then Chelsea, who are seeking a top four place as well, a win is well needed here.