West Ham United host Premier League leaders Manchester City, as Manuel Pellegrini faces his former side for the first time since leaving the Etihad.
West Ham United have endured a mixed time in the Premier League under Manuel Pellegrini this season, as they sit in 13th spot after 12 games. Pellegrini will be facing his former side for the first time since leaving Manchester City, where he won two League Cups and a Premier League title.
The Hammers will be looking to make it two wins in a row at the London Stadium for the first time since 2016, although, on paper, it is going to be difficult against unbeaten City.
Manchester City, on the other hand, will be looking to continue their momentum, and consolidate their lead atop the Premier League table. The champions will be hoping they get another three points against their stuttering opponents at the London Stadium.
City are leading most of the Premier League’s statistical charts, from goals scored, shots on target and most shots otherwise. As it stands, Manchester City have won 11 of their last 12 games in all competitions, scoring 38 goals and keeping nine clean sheets in the process.
The corresponding fixture last season ended in a 4-1 win for Manchester City, and ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter.
Team News & Tactics
West Ham United
Manuel Pellegrini will be boosted by some of the incoming players from injuries. Jack Wilshere and Andy Carroll are on the forefront of this, with both players set to return to the squad following spells on the sidelines.
Carroll, in particular, will help the Hammers’ options up front and take some load and responsibility off Marko Arnautovic. The burly striker hasn’t played all season after damaging his knee during the summer.
While Carroll will likely have to be content with a place on the bench, Wilshere’s involvement is still a doubt. The midfielder has been out since the beginning of September after suffering yet another ankle problem, and despite his return to training, it is unlikely he will be risked against City.
Captain Mark Noble is also back from his ban, and will likely take his place in the starting lineup. Robert Snodgrass, however, remains suspended and will play no part. Additionally, Ryan Fredericks also remains unavailable for the Hammers after injuring his fibula.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Fabianski; Zabaleta, Balbuena, Diop, Cresswell; Noble, Rice, Obiang; Antonio, Arnautovic, Anderson
Pep Guardiola has to contend with a few injury problems of his own for the game against West Ham. The big news is the three-month lay off for left-back Benjamin Mendy, who underwent knee surgery.
With Fabian Delph recovering from a minor injury as well, it could be Oleksandr Zinchenko who could earn a place at left-back for the Manchester City.
Bernardo Silva is also out a doubt for Manchester City as he is yet to recover from the knock he picked up during the international break playing for Portugal. Ilkay Gundogaon is likely to take Bernardo Silva’s place in midfield, alongside Fernandinho and David Silva.
Regarding an injury roundup for City, Nicolas Otamendi is the final player whose availability is in doubt, as he is yet to recover from an Achilles injury. Despite all of those concerns, Guardiola will still have the luxury to field a strong lineup to face West Ham, which could probably be enough to secure all three points.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Ederson; Walker, Stones, Laporte, Zinchenko; Gundogan, Fernandinho, David Silva; Sterling, Aguero, Sane
- West Ham United have lost all three of their games at the London Stadium to Manchester City in all competitions, scoring once and conceding 13.
- Manchester City are yet to lose or draw against West Ham United under Pep Guardiola.
- The Hammers are looking for consecutive wins at home for the first time since 2016.
- Manchester City have conceded only five goals in their last 12 Premier League away games.
- Manchester City are also the only non-London team after Portsmouth to win their five Premier League games in a row in the capital.
Player to Watch
For years, Aguero has been the leading man at Manchester City, and always an inspiration whenever the team looks to score goals. In their last game against arch-rivals Manchester United, Aguero showed exactly what kind of damage he could do to their opponents.
Now, the Argentine will be motivated more than ever to ensure Manchester City take all three points and he himself maintains the momentum at the top of the scoring charts. Gabriel Jesus was the player Guardiola had preferred as his starting striker upon the Brazilian’s arrival at the Etihad.
However, Jesus has displayed some questionable form of late, and naturally, Aguero has been on hand to give City the ultimate option up front and relegate the Brazilian to the bench. Expect the star striker to score against the Hammers and possibly extend his lead in the race to win the Golden Boot.
West Ham United 1-4 Manchester City
Pep Guardiola’s side have shown no mercy so far against any of their opponents. They have been equally impressive against lower teams as much as they have been against top sides this season. At the London Stadium, the Premier League champions are pitted against the wits of former manager Manuel Pellegrini, but Guardiola & co. should have it easy.
Taking City’s impressive goalscoring record into consideration, the side could score a lot of goals past West Ham. But, the Hammers are also capable of springing up a surprise with a goal or two. The Hard Tackle predicts a 4-1 win for Manchester City, to amp up the pressure on Pellegrini.