Following last week’s heartbreaking defeat at Manchester United, West Ham are looking to bounce back on home turf against an in-form Leicester City side who are rejuvenated with Brendan Rodgers at the helm.
West Ham, who have won just once in their last five outings, hope to mimic a performance just like the one at Old Trafford. The display deserved more, and if it weren’t for some atrocious refereeing decisions, it could have brought three points.
On the other hand, Leicester will look to make it five wins from six and seem to be front-runners in the race for seventh place.
With the season practically over for the Hammers, who are safe from relegation but too far away from the chasing pack for seventh, Saturday is a great opportunity to restore some positivity to the side. Fans will be hoping for a performance emulating last Saturday in what will be an interesting game at the London Stadium.
Notable absences for the game include both Samir Nasri and Manuel Lanzini; the latter picked up a knock at United. Javier Hernandez is also doubtful for the clash.
Meanwhile, Robert Snodgrass should be available for selection amidst his impending ban, due to the club’s decision to appeal the decision.
Here is the starting XI I believe Manuel Pellegrini will select for Saturday’s game against Leicester:
GK - Lukasz Fabianski
West Ham would be bottom if it weren’t for this man, who is one of, if not the, brightest positives from this season.
RB - Ryan Fredericks
Although he gave away the second penalty at Old Trafford, Fredericks should see a return to the starting XI. His pace might be needed against the Leicester front three.
CB - Fabian Balbuena
The Paraguayan was in fine form once again and solidifies the West Ham back line when he is in the team.
CB - Angelo Ogbonna
While I believe Issa Diop is the better player, Ogbonna has been West Ham’s best defender in the past month or so, and in truth, didn’t really put a foot wrong against United.
LB - Arthur Masuaku
Masuaku showed what a fantastic player he could be if he could find consistency in his game against United. Both offensively and defensively, Masuaku was a bright spark on the pitch.
CM - Declan Rice
Rice bossed the midfield on Saturday and unsurprisingly keeps his place in the side.
CM - Mark Noble
Noble was solid against United and looked decent going forwards. The skipper keeps his place.
RW - Michail Antonio
Antonio was very unlucky not to score on Saturday, after hitting the bar and forcing David de Gea to make an excellent save. His pace and power will be useful against Leicester.
CAM - Robert Snodgrass
Snodgrass comes into the side following the notable absences of Nasri and Lanzini and will act as the more creative outlet in front of the midfield pairing.
LW - Felipe Anderson
Anderson finally broke his goal drought against United, and it should’ve been a brace. The Brazilian looked in fine form going forwards, and hopefully, his goal will be the confidence boost he needs to emulate the displays he turned in earlier on in the season.
ST - Marko Arnautovic
With an injury to Hernandez, Arnautovic should get the nod for Saturday. His absence from the squad should’ve provided him with much-needed rest, and a goal should get him back into Hammers fans’ good books.
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