West Ham will look to inflict more misery on Manchester City, who have had an uncharacteristic slow start to the 2020/21 Premier League campaign, on Saturday.

Several question marks have been put on West Ham’s potential to do well in the 2020/21 Premier League, with many even tipping them for relegation.

However, David Moyes has shown he is still a manager to be respected, with the Hammers recovering from the consecutive defeats at the start of the season and having a wondrous time so far in the recent matches, despite no real improvements made to the squad during the summer.

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Manchester City, on the other hand, have had an uncharacteristically slow start to the campaign, one which many had labelled as one that would see City redeem themselves for the lack of competition for the Premier League trophy last season. Pep Guardiola seems to be struggling to decide his best eleven as of yet and the effects have been evident in the results thus far.

The Citizens, however, did manage to win 3-1 against FC Porto to open their UEFA Champions League campaign on a positive note. It would now be crucial for Manchester City to spur on and we take a closer look at the two squads as they take on West Ham at the London Stadium.

Team News & Tactics

West Ham United

Said Benrahma is in line for his West Ham debut, but is unlikely to be thrown straight into the starting lineup against Manchester City. David Moyes will likely go for a five-man backline and yet Issa Diop might not feature in it. Aaron Cresswell has done well as the left centre-back and should reprise his role there, with Fabian Balbuena and Angelo Ogbonna the other central defenders.

Vladimir Coufal and Arthur Masuaku should be on the flanks, with a four-man midfield in front of them. Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek have both been solid for West Ham for over a year now and are certain starters. Jarrod Bowen has earned his place out wide on the right and should be preferred over other options.

Pablo Fornals will be deployed on the left, but will cut inside and play through the middle, providing support to the lone forward. Upfront, Michail Antonio and Sebastian Haller are both doubts for the game and David Moyes might just have to tweak the system to bring in Manuel Lanzini, who was the super sub.

However, Antonio should be fit in time to start. David Moyes is likely to instruct them to convert their shape into a 4-3-3 when on attack and back to a 5-4-1 to close down spaces when not on the ball.

Probable Lineup (5-4-1): Fabianski; Coufal, Balbuena, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Masuaku; Bowen, Soucek, Rice, Fornals; Antonio

Manchester City

The Citizens are depleted heavily, with Benjamin Mendy, Kevin De Bruyne, Aymeric Laporte, Fernandinho and Gabriel Jesus all first-team stars that are out for the tie. Nathan Ake should be fit in time to feature, with Oleskandr Zinchenko also an option for the left side.

Ederson has been far from his usual self in goal but will keep his place on Saturday. The early kickoff will likely see Pep Guardiola retain his defence in what is going to be a tough choice. Ruben Dias and Eric Garcia have done well at centre-back and should be the pairing against West Ham, with Ake finding a spot on the left side in Joao Cancelo’s place and Kyle Walker on the right.

Pep Guardiola has started easing Phil Foden into the scheme of things as a starter and the English youngster should come in for Ilkay Gundogan in midfield, with Rodri and Bernardo Silva keeping their respective places.

Riyad Mahrez will be given some rest after a run out during the midweek, with Ferran Torres the likely candidate to replace him in the starting lineup. However, Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling are likely to keep their places in the eleven.

There is a slight chance Liam Delap will be given some minutes in the second half as Guardiola continues to inculcate him into the first-team setup.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Ederson; Walker, Dias, Garcia, Ake; Silva, Rodri, Foden; Torres, Aguero, Sterling

Betting Odds

Favourable Tips

1. Both Teams to Score – YES @ 1.57

Hot Ones

1. Over 4.5 Match Goals @ 3.40

Key Stats

1. West Ham United have conceded at least 3 goals in each of Manchester City’s last three visits in all competitions.

2. Manchester City, on the other hand, have kept clean sheets in 3 of their last 4 Premier League matches at West Ham.

3. Interestingly, West Ham are currently sitting one place above Manchester City on the Premier League table at 10th, with City having conceded the same number of goals, despite playing one game less.

4. West Ham have actually scored 4 more goals (11) compared to Manchester City (7) so far in the 2020/21 Premier League, although the Hammers have played one more game.

5. Jarrod Bowen has 2 goals in 2 home Premier League games so far this season for West Ham.

Player to Watch

Fabian Balbuena

Embed from Getty Images

The Paraguayan defender was one of the heroes for West Ham against Tottenham in the thrilling comeback draw and will likely be rewarded for it with a spot at the back against Manchester City, despite Issa Diop being available at the disposal of David Moyes.

Balbuena, along with Angelo Ogbonna, will be crucial at the back for West Ham as they welcome City and their hungry attacking unit. West Ham must keep them at bay while also creating counter opportunities and Balbuena will be key to the squad’s team spirit.

Prediction

West Ham 1-5 Manchester City

Manchester City are due a high scoring game, with big performances needed from the likes of Sergio Aguero and others. West Ham will do all they can to keep the City goals to the bare minimum and look good to score on the other end as well, with City’s defence yet to settle down.

However, City should be set to embark on a journey of form, where everything is green and a rollicking could be in the offing for West Ham. We are going with a 5-1 win for the away side.

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