West Ham United v Leicester City preview: Mark Noble to miss Foxes clash
Last Updated: 18/03/17 7:56am
Mark Noble has been ruled out of West Ham's clash with Premier League champions Leicester City.
The Hammers, who host the revitalised Foxes at the London Stadium for the first time, will have to do without their captain as they look to curtail the revival inspired by Craig Shakespeare.
Since taking over from Claudio Ranieri, Shakespeare has masterminded a three-game winning streak which has seen Leicester ease their relegation fears and reach the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time.
The upturn in fortunes has come at the perfect time for Leicester to maintain their impressive recent form against West Ham, with the Foxes unbeaten in their last five meetings, winning four and drawing one.
Winston Reid will deputise as captain while Sam Byram could be recalled at right-back, freeing up Cheikhou Kouyate to move into Noble's midfield berth.
Andre Ayew is set to start in attack after scoring as a substitute at Bournemouth last weekend, but defender Angelo Ogbonna (knee) and striker Diafra Sakho (back) are still out.
Leicester's January signing Molla Wague is out for the season with a dislocated shoulder.
The defender made just one appearance - in the FA Cup defeat at Millwall in January - and has had an operation but his long-term future is unknown, with the loan from Udinese expiring in the summer.
Nampalys Mendy is rated as 50-50 to return from a knee injury which saw him miss the 2-0 win over Sevilla on Tuesday and advance to the Champions League quarter finals 3-2 on aggregate.
West Ham United have lost as many games against Leicester in their last five (4), as they did in the previous 25 combined (all comps).
Leicester are unbeaten in five matches in all competitions against West Ham, winning four and drawing one.
The Foxes have kept just one clean sheet in their last 21 away matches against West Ham (1-0 in August 2000), with Tim Flowers in goal for Leicester City that day.
Leicester City midfielder Andy King has scored in two of his last three matches against West Ham in all competitions.
Leicester City are two goals away from netting their 500th Premier League goal (498 currently).
Andy Carroll (49 goals) is one goal away from 50 Premier League goals, with 29 of his goals so far coming in a West Ham United shirt.
Since his debut in September 2012, Andy Carroll has appeared in just 94 of West Ham's 178 Premier League matches (53%) and played just 40% of possible minutes (6472).
I think West Ham are probably better away from home at the moment, and Tuesday's win over Sevilla in the Champions League will have taken a lot out of Leicester. They will have used up a lot of energy, so I am going to go 3-1 to West Ham. I do not think West Ham are great at home, but a lot will have been taken out of Leicester no doubt in midweek.
PAUL PREDICTS: 3-1 (16/1 with Sky Bet)
West Ham are Sky Bet's 5/4 favourites for the victory with Leicester up against odds of 21/10 to extend their winning run, while the draw is a 12/5 chance. Andy Carroll heads the first goalscorer betting at 5/1 followed by Michail Antonio (11/2) and Jamie Vardy (6/1).