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Leicester’s defeat sees West Ham take over as favourites

| 14.08.2011

What a difference a week makes. Last Sunday, West Ham fans were fearing an agonisingly spell in the Football League after a home loss to Cardiff, but seven days on they are favourites to finish first.

The turnaround came after they won their first away match of the campaign at Doncaster on Saturday, a hugely significant result given that they had managed just three travelling triumphs in total in the previous two seasons.

They were 1-0 winners at the Keepmoat Stadium thanks to an early Kevin Nolan strike by new signing Kevin Nolan and though it wasn’t the most convincing display, the clean sheet has inspired enough confidence to see them cut to 7/2.

Also influencing the price shift was former favourites Leicester’s surprise 2-0 defeat in front of their fans to last term’s losing play-off finalists Reading, who showed that they are very much contenders in their first game without Shane Long.

Noel Hunt and Hal Robson-Kanu stepped up to provide the goals that have seen the Foxes drift to 5/1 to finish first and the Royals close in slightly at 14/1.

But none of the three teams who made it two wins out of two on Saturday were even in the top half of the Championship in 2010-11, with Derby (40/1) and promoted duo Southampton (11/1) and Brighton (9/1) setting the early pace.

Similarly shocking is the presence of Leeds in the relegation zone after their opening day loss to the Saints was followed with a loss to Middlesbrough at Elland Road.

Things don’t get any easier with Hull, West Ham and Ipswich up next for Simon Grayson’s side, who are out to 40/1 to top the table. There is unrest behind the scenes too as protests were staged against chairman Ken Bates.



John Klee