West Ham finally gets to open up the London Stadium on Monday night as Leicester City comes to town. Formationally, this matchup looks to be an epic clash.
David Moyes has always been the type of manager that can change his team’s formations in the blink of an eye. Last week West Ham took on Newcastle in a 4-2-3-1 setup as the Toon’s combated it with a 3-5-2. Although Newcastle could attack quickly and play well on the counter, the Hammers were able to do the same, and with much better precision.
Leicester City typically played a 4-2-3-1 and looked solid last week against Wolves. Five of their nine shots were on target, and they held just under 60% of the possession. West Ham, on the other hand, put nine of their 18 shots on target, containing 54% of the ball. The Hammers were able to strike fast and hard, as they only had to contest with three shots on goal from Newcastle.
Going into Monday’s matchup, we expect there to be similar formations lining up against each other. David Moyes has really no room to mix it up, and why change a good thing? Just like the Hammers, however, the Foxes have four excellent attacking options up front. Perez, Maddison, Barnes, and Vardy are certainly going to keep the Hammers backline busy.
West Ham v. Leicester City set up to be a clash of formations
This is a significant concern for West Ham fans because twice last week, their defense was caught ball watching and put the Hammer behind twice. Leicester’s attack is much more powerful than that of the Magpie’s, but they have similar issues at the back. Daniel Amartey is playing the fill-in role, and he got exposed a lot last week with poor passes and getting caught out of position.
The likes of Antonio, Bowen, Fornals, and Benrahma will be chomping at the bit, ready to keep up their form from the preseason and Matchweek 1. On the official club site this week, Said Benrahma was excited about playing at home, saying:
"“I’m impatiently waiting for that, playing at home. It was still cool today despite being away from home. We could hear their voices. So I’m waiting impatiently for the next match.”"
A dominating attack meeting another dominating attack means that the battle in the trenches will come down to the middle 70% of the pitch. Youri Tielemans and Ndidi are excellent CDMs, but the more attacking members of the Foxes midfield didn’t play to their potential last time out. So not knowing that forces us only to analyze what we do.
What we do know is that Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek got back to their ways and shut down Newcastle during the second half. They will need to be “on” Monday night as well and will once again be the peg that could have to stop the Hammers leaky ship in defense.
Our official predictions, starting XI’s, and previews will be coming out later this week, but expect this matchup clash to be a fun one to watch. Last time out, West Ham was involved in a six-goal spectacular. Expect more of the same, as these two sides will be battling mano e mano.