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Leicester City’s quest to move up again after West Ham test

Leicester City will look to move back to the top of the Premier League table when they welcome West Ham United to the King Power Stadium.

Gameweek 4 of the 2020/21 Premier League is underway, with six matches on show on Sunday before club football gets a short respite during the international break.

The City ended the 2019/20 campaign on a whimper to narrowly miss Champions League qualification. The Foxes, though, have hit the reset button and have since slowly rediscovered their best touch. Brendan Rodgers’s men have won each of their first three Premier League games, one of which was last week’s shock 5-2 rout of Manchester City.

Leicester are also one of only two sides to be in double figures for goals scored this term. Having been perched comfortably atop the Premier League table heading into the gameweek, they slipped down to the second place after Everton’s 4-2 win against Brighton on Saturday. And the Foxes will be aiming to reclaim the top spot with a win.

read also:Foxes receive Ndidi, others  huge boost

Their opponents on Sunday, West Ham United, have been hit and miss in the first month of the 2020/21 season. The Hammers began their campaign with back-to-back defeats at the hands of Newcastle United and Arsenal.

The only solace midway through September was their progress to the Carabao Cup third round. But, David Moyes & co. bounced back strongly with successive wins, one of which was the 4-0 thrashing of Wolves last weekend. West Ham, though, come into this game after being knocked out of the League Cup by Everton and will be eager to return to winning ways.

The corresponding fixture last season ended in a convincing 4-1 win for Leicester City, with Mark Noble scoring the consolation goal for West Ham United. Ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the Premier League encounter.

Brendan Rodgers does not have too many fitness issues hampering his preparation ahead of the visit of West Ham United. On Sunday, the Leicester City manager will be without just three first-team players, with those with minor niggles all expected to be available.

Rodgers had been sweating over the fitness of Jonny Evans and Dennis Praet in the build-up to the game. But, while Evans is fully fit, Praet faces a late fitness test to determine his availability. The big concern ahead of the game against West Ham, though, was the situation of Jamie Vardy, who had been struggling with a hip injury this week.

However, Rodgers confirmed during his pre-match press conference that Vardy is available to take on West Ham. The veteran striker should, therefore, lead the line for Leicester on Sunday. As for those who miss out for the hosts, Wilfred Ndidi and Filip Benkovic are still in the treatment room, while Ricardo Pereira is continuing his rehabilitation after recovering from a knee injury.

Cengiz Under is available, but is likely to be eased into the thick of things. With the Turkish winger unlikely to start, James Maddison should be deployed in an unfamiliar right-wing slot, considering Ayoze Perez has hardly made an impression so far. On the opposite flank, there is no looking past Harvey Barnes.

Youri Tielemans and Praet will take up the centrally advanced positions on the pitch, with the duo combining with Maddison to string together the chances for Vardy. Indeed, with Timothy Castagne being tasked with marauding down the right flank, Maddison should create more overloads in the central areas. Nampalys Mendy will, meanwhile, sit at the base of the midfield.

Mendy will provide cover to a four-man backline that will feature Castagne, James Justin, Evans and Caglar Soyuncu. Talented young centre-back Wesley Fofana joined Leicester this week, but is expected to slowly be phased in, meaning Evans and Soyuncu pair up at the heart of the Leicester defence. In goal, there is no looking past Kasper Schmeichel.

Probable Lineup (4-1-4-1): Schmeichel; Castagne, Soyuncu, Evans, Justin; Mendy; Maddison, Praet, Tielemans, Barnes; Vardy

The post Leicester City’s quest to move up again after West Ham test appeared first on Sporting Life.

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