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West Ham must hammer home advantage against Leicester after Arsenal win

14 Aug | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
West Ham must hammer home advantage against Leicester after Arsenal win

Slaven Bilic's flying start at Emirates will count for nothing unless his side take all three points from first home game of final season at Upton Park

Nothing beats the start of the season for a football fan.

It is time of pure positivity, untainted by the lingering frustrations from weeks gone by that have seen the needless penalties, open goal misses and derby defeats that punctuate any season.

It is a feeling to be savoured for it simply cannot last forever. In fact, for most up and down the country, that bubble has already been burst.

Except, that is, for West Ham supporters, who will still be blowing plenty of their own following their remarkable opening day victory over Arsenal – the Hammers’ first win at the Emirates since 2007.

Yet following such a superb start, Slaven Bilic has been quick to remind his players that the hard work has only just begun, and understandably so.

After the departure of the safe and steady Sam Allardyce, the weight of expectation on Bilic and the rest of the Hammers’ hierarchy has intensified.

The aim now is to not only ensure Premier League football for the club’s big move to the Olympic Stadium, but also to produce a side that can get people flocking to fill out its 54,000 capacity.

And if West Ham are to take that next step, then this is exactly the type of fixture where they can afford no slip-ups.

8/1 – Mauro Zarate to score first and West Ham to win

Dining at the top table with away wins against title contenders is all well and good every now and again, but it matters little unless you can make the most of your bread and butter games in between times.

Leicester, for what it’s worth, certainly seem to have picked up where they left off with a 4-2 win over Sunderland on the opening day.

And, with a kind start to the season that sees the Foxes play just two of last season’s top four before December, Claudio Ranieri will be under similar pressure to produce results after replacing Nigel Pearson.

2/1 – Leicester to win

Yet that great escape masterminded by Ranieri’s predecessor was primarily based on home form – five of those seven wins from April onwards that propelled Leicester from rock bottom to staggering safety came at the King Power Stadium.

With just four victories on the road all season, the Foxes had one of the worst away records in the division. Of all the teams to avoid the drop, only Newcastle picked up fewer points on their travels.

West Ham meanwhile conceded the fewest number of goals at home outside the top four apart from Southampton, and they will be desperate to make Upton Park an even happier hunting ground this time around.

With the first league game back at the Boleyn Ground on Saturday signalling the start of a long goodbye to the grand old stadium, the Hammers will be determined to keep those bubbles of new-season optimism intact for a little while longer.

West Ham v Leicester match betting

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