Sam Allardyce will be satisfied with his team’s position in the Championship after 13 games played. Only Southampton are above the Hammers in the table thanks to the latter’s 1-0 win at Brighton on Monday which saw Kevin Nolan score an early winner for West Ham.
Upton Park has not been the fortress that Allardyce would have liked at this stage of the campaign, with Cardiff and Ipswich both claiming victory at the Boleyn Ground while Leeds also took a share of the spoils. However, West Ham’s last home game saw them beat Blackpool 4-0 and that could see things change.
The bookmakers are no bigger than 10/11 (bet365 – £200 free bets) about a home win on Saturday and that is partly down to the fact that Leicester are in disarray following a 3-0 home defeat against Millwall and then the consequent sacking of Sven-Goran Eriksson.
The Swede would have been relishing this match, although the Midlands club are instead searching for a replacement manager that can hopefully take City into the top two slots in the Championship by the end of the season.
Even so, the Foxes have only lost one game on the road all term and will be trying to batten down the hatches in this game, with Paddy Power (£100 free betting) offering 5/2 that the game ends all square, with the visitors’ tactics likely to be conservative.
Leicester are 3/1 for the win and the Hammers are certainly not yet banker material in front of their own fans despite that big win over Blackpool. However, having Kevin Nolan in your team gives you a great chance of challenging for promotion, while Sam Baldock and John Carew are probably the best strikeforce in the division.