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West Ham United vs. Leicester City Premier League Preview, Prediction: Hammers Are a Worthy Play

West Ham United vs. Leicester City Premier League Preview, Prediction: Hammers Are a Worthy Play article feature image
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Zac Goodwin/Getty. Pictured: West Ham United.

  • West Ham United and Leicester City clash in the Premier League on Saturday morning.
  • The Hammers are favored to take home all three points.
  • Nick Hennion believes that price is just fine to back them.

West Ham United vs. Leicester City Odds

West Ham Odds +110
Leicester City Odds +260
Draw +240
Over/Under 2.5 (-110 / -110)
Day | Time Saturday | 10 a.m. ET
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Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.

Ahead of Saturday’s meeting at the London Stadium, West Ham United and Leicester City are going in opposite directions.

The Hammers have dropped two matches in a row, including a home defeat last week against Crystal Palace. Meanwhile, Leicester City have won three of their last four matches, including a 2-0 road win against Everton last week.

But, Leicester now face an opponent that dominated them last season in London. For this same fixture, the Hammers produced a 4-1 home win before drawing 2-2 in the Midlands.

West Ham United Thriving Behind Back Line

Somewhat surprisingly, it’s been the West Ham United defense that has informed most of the team’s success this season.

Through their first 14 fixtures, manager David Moyes’ side has conceded only 15.13 expected goals on target (xGOT), or 1.08 xGOT per 90 minutes. Just at home, West Ham have surrendered only 0.97 xGOT per 90 minutes and have kept four of their last five opponents under 1 xG.

Offensively, West Ham can be described as inconsistent at best. Just at home, the Hammers have only three outputs of 1-plus xG with almost as many performances under 0.5 xG, per fbref.com.

That said, this West Ham attack has dominated inferior opposition at home. In three fixtures at the London Stadium against bottom-half teams – Bournemouth, Fulham and Wolves – they’ve created 2.37 xGOT per 90 minutes and have surpassed 2 xGOT in two of those three matches.

Leicester City Carrying Positive Momentum

After a poor start to the season, Leicester City are riding high entering this match.

In their first seven matches of the season, the Foxes had a -4.7 xG differential. But, in their next seven fixtures, manager Brendan Rodgers’ side has only a -0.2 xG differential, per fbref.com.

Additionally, for as much success as Leicester have produced away from home recently, they remain a tiny negative regression candidate for this match. Through seven road matches, they have a -5 goal differential against a -5.3 xGOT differential and a -5 big scoring chances differential.

Most of that over-performance has come on the offensive end, where Leicester have scored 14 road goals against 10.2 xGOT and 15 big scoring chances.

That said, Leicester’s road defense has improved of late. They’ve conceded only 0.72 xGOT per 90 minutes in their last three visits to Bournemouth, Wolves and Everton.

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West Ham United vs. Leicester City Pick

To me, this is the classic buy-low, sell-high spot on West Ham and Leicester City, respectively.

As referenced earlier, the Foxes have won two straight away from home, but I personally rate both Wolves and Everton beneath West Ham United. Plus, West Ham are a perfect 3-0-0 (W-L-D) at home against bottom-half sides and have won 11 of the past 13 such fixtures on xG.

Given how well the West Ham attack has run in those matches – 1.78 xG per 90 minutes across their last 13 against bottom-half sides – I expect the Leicester defense will encounter a much different experience.

I personally project West Ham as a -110 home favorite, so I’m happy to get involved at even money.

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