Leicester City wrap up the year that was 2016 at the King Power Stadium with a visit from West Ham on New Year’s Eve. It’s the beginning of three matches in eight days for the Foxes including a quick turnaround to Monday with a trip to the Riverside Stadium to face Middlesbrough.
Location: King Power Stadium, Leicestershire, England
Kick-off time: 3:00 PM GMT, 10:00 AM Eastern, 7:00 AM Pacific
I hope your holiday season was filled with joy outside of football because you likely didn’t find it from watching Leicester. A 2-0 loss to Everton on Boxing Day dropped the Foxes to 16th in the Premier League table and only three points off the drop zone. At this time last season the Foxes were off the top of the table on goal difference with 39 points, one of the rare times Leicester weren’t leading the league.
But if any team this season has proven slumps can be broken, it’s the Hammers. Three matches ago West Ham were in 17th in the table, but three consecutive victories over Burnley, Hull and Swansea have vaulted the London side to 11th. They even dealt the final blow to a brief and unproductive spell for Bob Bradley as manager for the Swans.
It seems only yesterday that Darren Randolph barely staved off relegation to League One with Birmingham City in 2014, but a solid Euro 2016 campaign and a stable spot between the pipes after the club’s fall out of favor with Adrián has rejuvenated the Republic of Ireland international.
He seems to get better game after game and received high praise from SB Nation’s Brace the Hammer writer Charlie Walsh in addition to players like Michail Antonio and Pedro Obiang in Shane Evans’ Q&A that can be read here.
Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri hopes Danny Drinkwater is ready to go in the midfield after he made a 45-minute appearance in the loss to Everton after sustaining a knee injury against Porto. Meanwhile Riyad Mahrez is set to start after only playing 26 minutes off the bench last time out.