Leicester City v West Ham United - All you need to know
West Ham United return to Premier League action when they travel to Leicester City for a 12noon kick-off on Sunday.
The Hammers visit King Power Stadium seeking to make it back-to-back top-flight wins after beating Wolverhampton Wanderers 4-0 on home turf last weekend.
However, West Ham will have their work cut out against a Leicester team who go into the weekend top of the Premier League table with a 100 per cent record and off the back of a 5-2 victory at Manchester City.
Sunday’s game will be played without supporters present due to Government COVID-19 restrictions, but it will be screened live in the UK by BT Sport, with coverage starting at 11.30am, and across the world by the Premier League’s international broadcast partners. Click here for broadcast listings in your territory.
Both teams will sport the No Room For Racism message on their shirts, and West Ham manager David Moyes has confirmed his players will kneel in support of the Black Lives Matter social justice campaign.
Before kick-off, fans will also hear the new Premier League anthem. VAR has also changed for this season, with on-field referees expected to use their pitchside screens far more often, while there are also some alterations to laws around encroachment at penalty kicks.
West Ham United could have a debut to Vladimír Coufal after the Czech Republic international right-back completed his transfer from Slavia Prague on Thursday evening.
The Irons also have Issa Diop and Josh Cullen available for selection again after both completed their mandatory ten-day self-isolation after testing positive for COVID-19.
They join a near fully-fit squad that is only missing right-back Ryan Fredericks, who is recovering from a hamstring injury.
Michail Antonio will become the first West Ham player to score in five consecutive Premier League away games if he nets at King Power Stadium, having scored at Newcastle United, Norwich City, Manchester United and Arsenal in the previous four.
For Leicester City, star right-back Ricardo Pereira remains sidelined as he works his way back from knee surgery, central midfielder Wilfred Ndidi has a groin problem, while centre-back Jonny Evans suffered a calf injury in last weekend’s win at Manchester City.
Turkish midfielder Cengiz Ünder, who has joined Leicester on a season-long loan from Roma, could make his debut.
The opposition – Leicester City
After fading out of the Premier League title race to finish outside the UEFA Champions League places in fifth and reaching the latter stages of both domestic cup competitions last season, Leicester City have made a bright start to the 2020/21 campaign.
Manager Brendan Rodgers has, at time of writing, only made minor changes to his playing squad, signing Belgian right-back Timothy Castagne from Atalanta and Turkish winger Cengiz Ünder from Roma on loan, while allowing England left-back Ben Chilwell to join Chelsea for a reported £50m.
Castagne and Under join a settled, talented squad led by ever-prolific former England striker Jamie Vardy, who has five Premier League goals to his name already, talented playmaker James Madison and experienced goalkeeper and captain Kasper Schmeichel.
While a repeat of their sensational 2015/16 title win may be beyond the Foxes, last weekend’s 5-2 thrashing of Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium served warning that they are ready to bite back after a disappointing end to last term.
West Ham United and Leicester City have been regular adversaries down the years, meeting no fewer than 135 times.
The first-ever meeting came in November 1919, early in West Ham’s first season in the Football League, and ended in a goalless Second Division draw at Leicester’s old Filbert Street stadium.
Since then, the pair have been evenly matched, with the Hammers edging the all-time head-to-head by 52 wins to 50, with 33 draws.
West Ham’s biggest-ever win at Leicester was all the way back in February 1923, when a Billy Moore hat-trick helped the Hammers to a 6-0 Second Division victory at Filbert Street.
In the Premier League, West Ham also hold the edge, with eleven wins to nine, with six draws. However, Leicester are unbeaten in the last four meetings and have won the last two. West Ham’s most recent win over the Foxes came in May 2018, when David Moyes’ men secured a 2-0 win at King Power Stadium thanks to a Joao Mario goal and Mark Noble’s outstanding 25-yard volley.
Referee: Andrew Madley
Assistant Referees: Edward Smart and Adrian Holmes
Fourth Official: Simon Hooper
VAR: Graham Scott
Assistant VAR: Marc Perry
Huddersfield-born Andrew Madley began his refereeing career in nearby Wakefield, working his way up through the ranks before becoming a Football League assistant referee in 2008.
The following year he was promoted to the Panel List, which allowed him to referee in what is now the National League.
In 2010, Madley became a Select Group assistant referee, running the line in the Premier League, before joining the National List of Football League referees in 2011.
The progression continued in 2016, when the 37-year-old was added to Select Group 2, before he took charge of his first Premier League match in March 2018, a 2-2 draw between Watford and AFC Bournemouth.
The following June, Madley was promoted to the Select Group 1 list and he refereed eleven Premier League fixtures last season, including Leicester City’s 2-1 win at Sheffield United and 1-1 home draw with Norwich City.
Madley’s only West Ham United appointment came in January this year, when he refereed the 2-0 Emirates FA Cup win at Gillingham.