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Premier League preview: West Ham v. Leicester City

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  • Leicester City has lost just once in its last 9 meetings with West Ham
  • West Ham has just 5 PL clean sheets this season
  • Leicester City has not won 3 straight road matches since April 2016

Leicester City continues its push for a place in Europe as the Foxes travel to London to take on West Ham United live at 10:00 a.m. ET on CNBC or live online at NBCSports.com.

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE HERE

The Foxes sit in seventh place in the Premier League table, and while they’re unable to catch Manchester United in sixth sitting 17 points back, they still have a crack at a place in the Europa League should Watford fail to win the FA Cup. It’s a hotly contested race, with Wolverhampton Wanderers level on points with Leicester at 47, while Everton and Watford are both a point back with 46.

As a boost, Leicester City could have Marc Albrighton back from a long-term hamstring injury that has kept him out for two months, although it’s unlikely he would start right away after being out for so long. The 29-year-old was a regular in the Leicester lineup before his injury, appearing in all but two of the club’s Premier League matches until his injury in early February.

For the Hammers, they sit in 11th position and have work to do to reach the top half of the table, behind Watford and Everton by four points. Jack Wilshere could find his way back from an ankle injury, although the club is reportedly being careful with his return. They are missing a trio of important attacking players, with Manuel Lanzini, Javier Hernandez, and Samir Nasri all likely out with injury problems.

What they’re saying

West Ham manager on his season to this point: “It’s not an easy answer because there are two sides to it. Yes, I’m happy because it is a solid season compared to the last one. Having so many important players injured for so long is not easy. But always I feel we can do better.”

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers on a possible European place: “We’re not really thinking about that. We want to finish as high as we can and do our very best. It’s important we continue to work and prepare for next season while finishing as strongly as possible.”

Prediction

Leicester City has fared well against West Ham in the past, and while this is a road trip for the Foxes, it has far more importance to the visitors than the home side, who have already pretty much packed up shop for the season. With Leicester City needing this match much more, and West Ham missing a number of attacking players, the Foxes should come away with it 2-1, returning home with a vital three points away from home.

Hazard wizardry leads Chelsea into third after win over West Ham (video)

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  • Hazard scores 15th and 16th goals of the season
  • Chelsea moves past Spurs into 3rd
  • Blues unbeaten on Monday in PL play since 1994

Eden Hazard may be headed to Real Madrid this summer or he may not, but either way he’s a Chelsea man for now, and the Blues are far better for it.

The Belgian superstar bossed the game at Stamford Bridge, and produced a brace – including a Goal of the Season – as Chelsea topped West Ham United 2-0. The young English duo of Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek were bright in spots and Gonzalo Higuain provided a constant threat up front, but it was Hazard who unquestionably pulled the strings from start to finish.

[ MORE: Is Hazard’s goal one of the PL’s best ever? ]

Hazard engineered the opener on 24 minutes as all of Stamford Bridge could see what was coming, yet nobody in Claret and Blue could do anything about it. The Belgian magician produced a spectacular run straight down West Ham’s throat, slicing and weaving down the middle, into the box, and having passed by no fewer than four defenders and cutting between the final two, he buried the shot into the back of the net under pressure from the last man Ryan Fredericks.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

It was all Chelsea from that point through halftime. The hosts nearly doubled the lead moments later as Gonzalo Higuain’s shot from an incredibly tight angle was saved by Lukasz Fabianski up onto the crossbar. Callum Hudson-Odoi, on his second start in two matches, worked the keeper in the 41st minute with a right-footed blast that forced Fabianski again to full-stretch.

After the break, Chelsea remained the stronger team, but West Ham worked a quality counter-attack in the 54th minute that saw Manuel Lanzini force an acrobatic save from Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga. The Blues came back down the other end and worked a chance for Ruben Loftus-Cheek who got clean through and looked to chip Fabianski but his shot didn’t have the height to trouble the goalkeeper.

[ STREAM: Every PL match live ]

The Hammers had their best chance just past the half-hour mark with Aaron Cresswell firing just inches wide, beating both Kepa and the far post. Still, they couldn’t keep Hazard under wraps. The Belgian had another slaloming run in the 65th minute that nearly produced a chance but he had no support.

With Chelsea unable to put the Hammers away, the finish was tense. Chelsea came close again in the 78th minute as Hazard brought the ball forward and worked it to Hudson-Odoi on the right, and while his cross was scything across the face of goal, it agonizingly eluded both a streaking Ross Barkley and the far post. West Ham had another good chance minutes later as Marko Arnautovic worked an open set-piece header, but his effort was blocked by Emerson.

Finally, Chelsea put the game away in the 90th minute on Hazard’s second of the game and 16th of the season. Ross Barkley delivered a ball into the box for a wide-open Hazard, and he finished from a tight angle through pressure from Felipe Anderson. Maurizio Sarri celebrated enthusiastically, and the Blues confirmed their third-place spot in the Premier League table, passing Tottenham with 66 points on the year. Hazard himself has been directly involved in 28 goals in league play this season, the most in the English top flight.

West Ham, meanwhile, fails to move closer to the top half, sitting in 11th on 42 points, four back of 10th placed Watford and three above Crystal Palace in 12th. The loss is West Ham’s fourth in their last six league matches, a run which has seen them drop out of the top half after sitting ninth in early March.

Chicharito leads West Ham’s incredible comeback (video)

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  • Javier Hernandez scores twice late on
  • Huddersfield led West Ham 3-1 after 75 minutes
  • Hammers two points off seventh place

West Ham United fought back from 3-1 down to beat Huddersfield Towmn 4-3 at the London Stadium on Saturday.

Substitute Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez was the hero as he scored twice late on to grab a huge win for the Hammers. Huddersfield’s Karlan Grant scored a double and Juninho Bacuna also scored after Mark Noble had given West Ham the lead.

Angelo Ogbonna started West Ham’s comeback, and Hernandez then delivered the Hammer blows as Huddersfield missed some big chances of their own late on. With the win West Ham are in ninth on 41 points, while Huddersfield remain bottom of the table.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Huddersfield started brightly but the first big chance of the game went West Ham’s way. A corner from the right was kept alive by Delan Rice and his deflected cross found Michail Antonio who hit the crossbar with a header.

The Hammers took the lead after teenager Aaron Rowe, making his full Huddersfield debut, clumsily took down Manuel Lanzini in the box to give away a penalty kick.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Noble dinked the spot kick down the middle to put West Ham 1-0 up. But soon after Huddersfield were level, as Bacuna sent home a wonderful header from a corner to net his first goal for the Terriers. Game on.

Huddersfield deservedly took the lead before the break as Alex Prtichard started a clever routine from a free kick which set up Chris Lowe to cross and ended in Grant slotting home his second goal for Huddersfield since his January move from Charlton.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

At the start of the second half Lukasz Fabianski made a wonderful stop as Bacuna smashed a shot from distance towards the top corner, as West Ham had brought on Hernandez to try and turn the game in their favor.

West Ham dominated play in the final stages as Huddersfield sat back deeper and deeper. After good work from Anderson, Arnautovic scuffed a shot on goal which Jonas Lossl saved.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Grant then scored a magnificent individual goal, as the Huddersfield striker turned, weaved past two challenges and curled a beauty into the top corner to make it 3-1.

West Ham kept battling away, and Ogbonna nodded home from a corner to set up a grandstand finish with 15 minutes to go.

Hernandez then made it 3-3 as he nodded home at the back post, with the Mexican striker left unmarked to finish Nasri’s cross after a corner was only half-cleared. Huddersfield almost won it late on, as Jason Puncheon and Terrence Kongolo went close with Philip Billing also involved but then came the moment they were dreading.

Hernandez was the hero in stoppage time as he flicked home another header, this time from Anderson’s cross, to make it 4-3 and spark wild celebrations at the London Stadium.

Watch Live: West Ham United v. Newcastle United

Scott Heavey/PA via AP
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West Ham United’s push for seventh place in the Premier League meets a stiff challenge in the form of dogged defenders and in-form visitors Newcastle United (Watch live at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

The London Stadium is the scene, as Newcastle enters having won consecutive home matches but lost to West Ham 3-0 in December. Newcastle had won its last three against the Hammers.

Manuel Lanzini makes his first start in a year for West Ham, which has slipped into 10th and will be 7 points back of Wolves if it fails to beat the Magpies.

LINEUPS

West Ham United: Fabianski, Fredericks, Ogbonna, Diop, Cresswell, Rice, Noble, Lanzini, Snodgrass, Anderson, Chicharito. Subs: Adrian, Masuaku, Obiang, Nasri, Antonio, Perez, Arnautovic.

Newcastle United: Dubravka, Manquillo, Schar, Lascelles, Lejeune, Ritchie, Hayden, Longstaff, Almiron, Perez, Rondon. Subs: Darlow, Yedlin, Dummett, Ki, Diame, Atsu, Muto.

West Ham United hangs three on Fulham (video)

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  • Babel strikes in third minute for visitors
  • Chicharito scores handball goal
  • Diop nods home to complete Irons’ comeback

West Ham United overcame an early stumble to punish Fulham’s weak defending with a 3-1 defeat at the London Stadium on Friday.

The London Derby win pushes the Irons ninth with 34 points, six behind seventh place Watford. Fulham remains 19th with 18 points.

Ryan Babel scored for Fulham, while Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, Issa Diop, and Michail Antonio were West Ham’s scorers.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Denis Odoi and Ryan Sessegnon worked down the left to help Fulham to its surprising opener, cueing up a left-footed cross from the latter that Babel darted into the six to slash behind Lukasz Fabianski.

The lead lasted 26 minutes, but it would’ve lasted longer had the referee spotted Hernandez’s hand slapping the ball into the goal after his head nodded at the orb. Shockingly, no Fulham player protested, and it was 1-1.

West Ham went ahead 11 minutes later, Diop waltzing into the area to nod Robert Snodgrass‘ corner kick inside the near post.

Manuel Lanzini entered the game late, getting a fine cheer en route to his long-anticipated return from injury.

Sergio Rico made a fine one-handed stop on Marko Arnautovic to stymy a late second-half bid to insure West Ham’s lead.

As Fulham rarely looked prepared to pot an equalizer, perhaps it was fitting that West Ham got a third with a dominant sequence in stoppage time. Antonio was the finisher after Arnautovic and Lanzini made themselves menaces on the right of the box.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]