Leicester vs West Ham | Sunday 4th October 2020, 12:00 | BT Sport
Leicester welcome West Ham to the King Power Stadium on Sunday lunchtime looking to continue their 100% start to the season, scoring on average four goals per-game. The Foxes have played multiple systems across September, adapting to all seamlessly, and look a real threat.
Brendan Rodgers’ game plan worked to perfection at The Etihad last weekend as they put five past Manchester City, the first team to do so there in the Guardiola era. In fact, it was the first time in 438 games that City have let five in at home, and some 686 games since a Guardiola team conceded five.
Leicester were much sharper and quicker, seemingly putting their post-lockdown results out of their system with such a strong start to this campaign. Despite only boasting 28% of the ball at The Etihad, Rodgers clearly trusted his players to execute his approach – which obviously worked to a tee.
Soucek to be a threat
Onto the first betting angle and Tomas Soucek’s shot prices with SkyBet can’t be turned down. He is priced at 11/10 for just two shots – whether it be a 40-yard effort thudded into an empty seat on Row Z or a blocked shot – it will count. That will be a two-point play for me and one point on the 7/2 for three or more.
The Czech international has registered 3, 2 and 5 shots in his three games this season, with the two coming at The Emirates.
West Ham have converted to a five-at-the-back formation this season with Soucek sitting beside Declan Rice in the centre of the park, and perhaps the trust and knowledge that there are three centre-halves and Rice sitting deep, Soucek can support the Hammers attack when possible.
West Ham themselves have had an average of 14.7 shots per-game in their three opening games, out-shooting both Arsenal and Wolves comfortably. In Leicester’s opening home match against Burnley, the Clarets had 16 shots on Kasper Schmeichel’s goal – so West Ham should have chances here.
The 25-year-old is huge as well – some 6”3 – and a lot of his registered shots are headers, as was seen when he nodded a corner goalward last weekend against Wolves before it was given as an own goal off Raul Jimenez.
Sky Bet have boosted the Czech to score a header to 16/1 and that could be worth a small dabble for fun. Hopefully the prices hold come kick-off, but he is almost certain to start at the King Power before he heads off to join the Czech Republic national team for the international break.
A stat-based angle appeals
My final pick comes in the Half-Time/Full-Time market. Leicester have been drawing at half-time in all three of their opening games, but have won them all, and in the two games West Ham were level at the break, they went on to lose. Therefore the 19/5 (BetVictor) available for Draw/Leicester result is a nice way in.
To be getting a shade of 4/1 for a bet that has landed frequently so far this season seems generous. I would also take the 7/2 available with most firms as I can see West Ham sitting in with their five defenders and attempting to counter-attack with Michael Antonio and Jarrod Bowen.
Leicester have seen the 1-1 half time score in two games, which was also the score in the Hammers’ game at the Emirates – a similar challenge for the Londoners. That is 15/2 with BetVictor if you prefer to take on a bigger price. I’m sticking with the Draw/Leicester though, as the price is too tempting to turn down considering its recent success.
The referee for this one is Andy Madley, taking charge of his first Premier League match of the season. He averaged 3.55 cards per-Premier League-game in 19/20, officiating Leicester twice in the league, booking a Foxes player in neither match, only officiating a West Ham cup tie at Gillingham.
Leicester themselves only picked up 41 yellow cards and three reds in their 19/20 campaign, a lower amount than every team but Liverpool. It’s hard to find a way in the card markets here as West Ham only have three to their name this campaign, but with both sides not being the dirtiest and a lenient referee, backing the unders on cards may be worth a look.
Leicester vs West Ham – Tomas Soucek 2+ Shots (11/10 SkyBet)
Leicester vs West Ham – Tomas Soucek 3+ Shots (7/2 SkyBet)
Leicester vs West Ham – Draw/Leicester (19/5 BetVictor)