Leicester City Match Preview
By Tom Dowsett
Friday 30 Dec 2016 21:13:00
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After condemning Swansea City to another defeat at the Liberty Stadium on Boxing Day, West Ham United now face two games in as many days, starting with a trip to The King Power Stadium to face Leicester City on New Year's Eve.

The Hammers started 2016 with victory over Liverpool at Upton Park and they will want to finish the year in the same vein, as they go in search of back-to-back away wins which they will hope can propel them into the top half of the Premier League table.

Claudio Ranieri's side had a remarkable campaign last term, as they won the title, losing only three games. However, their focus this campaign seems to be geared towards having a go at the UEFA Champions League rather than domestic matters, as they currently occupy 16th place with 17 points from 18 games.

After going in front in this fixture last season, the home side had to come from behind as the Hammers were minutes away from gaining a victory, before Leonardo Ulloa secured a share of the spoils by cooly converting a last-minute penalty in a 2-2 draw.

West Ham go into the game looking to claim a fourth consecutive win, while the Foxes will be hoping to bounce back after the 2-0 home defeat against Everton five days ago.

Manuel Lanzini was replaced at half-time in the 1-0 home victory against Hull City because of a thigh problem, meaning he subsequently missed the trip to Wales on Boxing Day, but in his pre-match news conference ahead of the encounter, Slaven Bilic confirmed that the midfielder is back in contention for the trip to the East Midlands.

Reece Oxford, Sam Byram and Simone Zaza have all recovered from injury and are back in training, but neither player is expected to be involved.

The manager also has Pedro Obiang available again after suspension, so he may decide to keep André Ayew and Havard Nordtveit back and include them against Manchester United on Monday.

Saturday's match is a 3pm kick-off and the referee is Anthony Taylor.


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