Match Preview – West Ham Utd vs Leicester City

The saying goes that it is fine to draw your away matches so long as you win your home games. Unfortunately for Sven-Göran Eriksson, it does not work so well if you draw four away, but lose at home 3-0 to a side that had previously been without a win in 10.

The rights and wrongs of the decision to sack the Swede will be debated until the end of the season, but the fixture list shows little mercy to those who dwell on the past. In the case of trips to West Ham, that is probably just as well.

Leicester may have won ten league matches at Upton Park in the past, but the only City manager to win here since 1966 is Peter Taylor.

Leicester might take encouragement from away wins secured by Cardiff and Ipswich here, and also a battling draw by Leeds. Indeed, West Ham’s record against sides in the top 10 this season reads played five, drawn two, lost three.

But the very reason Leicester will be under the joint temporary stweardship of Mike Stowell and John Rudkin is that they are not in the top 10. West Ham have proven particularly ruthless against sides lower than that, winning seven of eight matches.

If the Hammers are in the mood to attack we could see their 200th goal against Leicester in all competitions. Big Sam’s men are four short at present. But Leicester’s defence, which has conceded only five on the road, might have something to say about that.

The most notable thing about Leicester’s away form so far is how tight it has been. One win and one defeat have been sandwiched between four draws. Having seen just nine goals at either end on their travels, Leicester’s away support are the most goal starved fans in the Football League.

But it is matters off the pitch that make this contest unpredictable. Some Leicester caretakers do well (David Nish, Rob Kelly), others not so well (Garry Parker). Stowell and Rudkin will have the full backing of the Leicester fans, but they can expect no sympathy from Sam Allardyce.

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