Manchester City are looking to continue their unbeaten premier league streak against a resilient West Ham at Upton park. Depending on results around them City can potentially go top of the table, although that seems unlikely. West ham on the other hand will be looking to continue their impressive start to the season and shake off last weeks defeat against Wigan.
In the build up to the game West Ham boss Sam Alardyce has played down the importance of his team talk, insisting his players will be chomping at the bit to go and prove they can beat the premier league champions. He has also pointed out City’s defensive vulnerabilities and he knows his team are in with a chance, as long as they stay organised and convert their chances. Mancini will know West Ham will be tight and difficult to break down, especially with the absence of Silva, so a moment of brilliance may be required to break the deadlock.
City will be delighted with the news that Micah Richards’ injury isn’t as bad as first thought, and with Pablo Zabaleta back Mancini’s defensive problems look to be improving. The blues also welcome back Javi Garcia from injury and James Milner after a 1 match suspension. However they are still without star man David Silva who will be greatly missed and we look to the likes of Nasri and Toure for some creativity. West Ham have no new injury news with Guy Demel and Matthew Taylor still out, but probably in contention for next week.
The statistics look mainly in City’s favour with West Ham only winning once in 10 games against the Citizens. Their current away form is also impressive with 5 wins and 2 draws in their last seven games. Although big Sam will know that Andy Carroll loves scoring against City with 4 goals to his name, more than against any other club. So as long as Carroll is in the mood, City are in for a tough afternoon.
Alardyce has conceded that the vast majority of possession will be in City’s favour but is keen to limit the space in and around their box. When the Hammers do get the ball they will be looking to counter-attack quickly with a superb focal point in Andy Carroll, to get them out of danger. I predict a frustrating game while City struggle to break down West Ham and create any real chances. Although I do expect them to have just enough quality to win the game, with a less than convincing performance.
Prediction: West Ham 1:2 Manchester City