West Ham vs. Leicester Betting Preview
Published on April 15, 2019
Another week, another round of games from the English Premier League.
As always, my main goal is to find any matches that provide the opportunity to get some value.
After going through the odds offered by the top EPL betting sites, I think that the game between West Ham and Leicester deserves some attention.
Here’s my complete betting preview of West Ham vs. Leicester, with odds, analysis, and predictions. The game is being played on Saturday, April 20th.
The betting odds below are courtesy of BetOnline and cover the mainstream markets for the match between West Ham and Leicester City.
I would normally expect to see the home team as the favorite when two sides of a similar caliber meet. In this case, the roles are reversed, and the bookmakers believe that Leicester has the advantage in this game.
I think that the main reason behind that is the recent form of both sides. The Foxes won four of the last five games in the EPL, while West Ham lost four of the last five.
On the surface, it seems the Hammers are struggling and Leicester is flying. A deeper look at the quality of the opposition both sides faced during that period shows that is not exactly the case, but I will elaborate on that a bit later.
For now, let’s just say that I don’t see Leicester as the favorite here.
I do understand the odds for the over/under market, though. The line makes sense, and both teams can score goals, so I don’t think there’s value there.
Let’s start with West Ham United and take a closer look at their recent matches I just mentioned. In their last five, the team has faced Cardiff City, Huddersfield, Everton, Chelsea, and Manchester United, in that order.
The Hammers were closely beaten in the last two games, despite showing a lot of promise against two of the strongest teams in the league. The only causes for concern are the losses against Everton at home and Cardiff City away.
And yet, the Welsh club is no pushover at home, while Everton can surprise anyone in the EPL. I don’t think that West Ham’s form is as poor as the results suggest, and the side can certainly beat Leicester.
The lack of efficiency up front was the main problem against Chelsea and Manchester United. The Hammers created chances on both occasions but failed to convert.
They were solid on the other end, too, but a wonder goal by the unstoppable Eden Hazard and a soft penalty against Manchester United broke their defense.
I don’t think that Leicester can do as well as the Red Devils or Chelsea. West Ham should be able to limit the opportunities of the visitors if they play with the same discipline.
I also expect to see some chances on the other end because the home team has a bunch of attacking players of real quality.
There are some question marks over the condition of Marko Arnautovic and Manuel Lanzini, but I think at least the former will be fine. He’s been ill for a couple of days, but he should have enough time to recover by the weekend.
Whatever the case, I think that the manager Manuel Pellegrini has enough attacking players at his disposal.
I explored the last five games of West Ham, so let’s do the same for Leicester. Four wins in that period seems great, but they came against Huddersfield, Bournemouth, Burnley, and Fulham. Two of those teams are already relegated, while the other two are in the bottom half of the table and hardly at their best recently.
The good form of Leicester is a bit deceptive, and Newcastle exposed that in the last EPL round. The Foxes are struggling to create many chances against teams that have at least a decent defense.
They don’t have enough creativity to break teams that deny space, and I think they might have the same problems against West Ham United. The home side plays with two midfielders that protect the back line, so Leicester will rarely attack against less than five or even six men.
On top of that, Leicester’s defense is somewhat vulnerable. The side only kept a clean sheet once in the past 13 games, and it was against an out-of-form Bournemouth team at home. Chances are that West Ham will find the net on Saturday.
I think that the new manager Brendan Rodgers is trying to change Leicester into a team that has more of the ball and relies on a patient build-up. It will take time for such an approach to work, and the Foxes will struggle until that happens. Let’s not forget that they used to play on the counter for most of the season.
The schedule has masked the Leicester transition issues, but stronger teams should be able to expose them.
On the positive side, Rodgers will be able to use his full squad, as there are no injuries or suspensions before the clash with West Ham.
I honestly don’t think that Leicester should be the favorite here; it’s an open game that West Ham could very well end up winning. I expect the Hammers to create some chances and defend well for most of the match.
It could go either way at the end, but the odds for the home team are simply too high to miss. In fact, they are so high that you don’t have to straight-up back West Ham to win it.
You can get a price of 1.86 for the home side +0.25 Asian handicap. If the Hammers snatch the victory, you get the full win, while a draw brings you a half-win.
I think this is the best bet for this match, and my final prediction is for West Ham to win 2-1.
If you like this EPL betting pick, you should also check out my preview of the game between Bournemouth and Fulham. I share my free predictions and picks every single week, and there’s not much left of this campaign, so stay tuned.
Also, feel free to share your own opinions in the comments section below.