As the Premier League survival battle intensifies, Leeds United will be looking to capitalise on a potential European fatigue from West Ham United to snatch a critical win at the London Stadium.
With the league table revealing Leeds stuck in the relegation zone with only two games remaining, manager Sam Allardyce is faced with the monumental task of orchestrating another remarkable escape. Heading into the weekend, Leeds, albeit at the bottom three, still hold onto hope as they are just one and three points behind Everton and Nottingham Forest respectively.
Allardyce, since taking over the reins from Javi Gracia, has managed to infuse new energy into the squad. The team showed promising signs of fight in their recent matches, with a close 2-1 loss at Manchester City and a 2-2 draw at home against in-form Newcastle.
Facing West Ham at this juncture could be opportune for Leeds, as the Hammers are expected to be worn out after their Europa Conference League semi-final second leg match against Alkmaar on Thursday night.
Meanwhile, David Moyes’ West Ham still have their own survival issues to address. Despite being six points ahead of Leeds, they are not mathematically safe from relegation. Their superior goal difference should provide a safety cushion, even if they lose their remaining two games. However, a defeat against Leeds would certainly make the final round of fixtures a nerve-wracking affair for them. Hence, Moyes will be eager to secure a result that cements their stay in the Premier League for another season.
Considering their recent home victories against Manchester United and Alkmaar, West Ham should at least secure a point in this game, assuming there isn’t a considerable dip in their energy levels following their European adventure.
Betting Odds With the home turf advantage, West Ham United emerge as the favourites. The best price for them is currently at 17/12 with bet365. Leeds United, on the other hand, stand at 2/1 with 888sport. The odds for a draw are 27/10 at Betway.
Past Meetings In recent history, there has been little to separate these teams. The previous 12 encounters have resulted in four wins for each side and four draws. The reverse fixture at Elland Road this season ended in a 2-2 draw, while Leeds had a 3-2 victory in their last visit to the London Stadium.
Players to Look Out For The game might be Declan Rice’s final home appearance for West Ham United, as the England midfielder is rumoured to be leaving this summer. Keen to leave a lasting impression, the captain is 17/2 at bet365 to score at any time during the match.