David Moyes is still looking to bolster his West Ham squad heading into the final week of the window, but his first focus is on Monday’s clash with Leicester City.
West Ham, who finished sixth after a brilliant campaign in 2020-21, welcome a full house back to London Stadium for the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic as Brendan Rodgers’ FA Cup winners visit.
Both sides started the season with wins – West Ham winning 4-2 at Newcastle United while Leicester beat Wolves 1-0.
The Hammers have brought in Alphonse Areola on loan from Paris Saint-Germain, while Craig Dawson’s loan from Watford has also been made permanent, but Moyes is hoping to add to his side.
“I hope to do some more business. We’ve been trying hard and we’re trying to add to a good group of players and give ourselves some more options at different times,” he said.
“We know we’ve got a challenging season ahead of us, but an exciting one. In this business, there are no guarantees.”
Jesse Lingard was a key part of West Ham’s success last season, as he scored nine goals on loan from Manchester United, but Moyes would not be drawn on whether the midfielder would be making a return to east London.
“The questions are not for me – they’re for Manchester United. We enjoyed having him but in my mind he’s at Manchester United and it’s not for us to discuss,” Moyes said.
Leicester midfielder Wilfred Ndidi, meanwhile, is anticipating a stern challenge.
“When a team does well last season, they always believe, the growth comes, so they are a very good side,” he said.
“They’re ready to go for it and in the Premier League, there’s no smaller team. Everyone is just the same.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
West Ham – Said Benrahma
Benrahma scored and assisted in West Ham’s victory over Newcastle on MD1; the first time he has done both in a Premier League game for the club. Since the start of last season, no West Ham player has made more assists from open play in the competition than Benrahma (seven).
Leicester City – Kelechi Iheanacho
Iheanacho has been involved in four goals in his last four Premier League appearances against West Ham (three goals, one assist). Iheanacho has scored in his last three Premier League appearances in London, with no Foxes player ever scoring in four in a row in the capital in the competition (Gerry Taggart and Jamie Vardy also scored in three in a row).
KEY OPTA FATCS
– West Ham completed a league double over Leicester last season; the Hammers are looking to record three consecutive Premier League wins over the Foxes for the first time since winning their first four in the competition against them between November 1994 and April 1997.
– Only Manchester City (45) and Manchester United (43) won more away points in the Premier League last season than Leicester City (38). However, they have only won their opening away Premier League match in four of their previous 15 seasons in the division, with two of those victories coming against West Ham in 2000-01 and 2015-16.
– West Ham have won their last four Premier League matches on Monday and won five in total last season on that day, the most by a team in a Premier League season since Chelsea won five Monday games in 2016-17. Leicester, meanwhile, have won just one of their 14 away Premier League games on a Monday (D4 L9), a 4-1 win at Leeds United last November.
– Michail Antonio could become West Ham’s outright top scorer in the Premier League in this game, after drawing level with Paolo Di Canio with his goal last time out (47). Antonio has netted in each of his last two starts against Leicester in the competition, scoring once in each.
– Rodgers has lost each of his last two Premier League games against Moyes (both in 2020-21), as many defeats as he suffered against the Scottish manager in the competition in their first seven meetings (W3 D2 L2).