A lot will be at stake for both sides when Manchester City host West Ham on Sunday, with Citizens looking to cement their top 4 place and the Hammers hoping to boost their survival chances. With both teams desperate for a win, we should see an entertaining game at Eastlands.
City impressive at Eastlands
Manchester City are still far away from being able to match the best sides in England, but Roberto Mancini’s side have shown a lot of improvement lately and the team are finally starting to gel. Citizens have been simply amazing at home this season, winning 13 out of last 14 games at Eastlands, and the fact they kept a clean sheet in 11 of those games is simply astonishing. However, the impressive run will be put to the test against very good West Ham side and the team that play much better than the results are showing. The hosts will be full of confidence after winning their first away game in 2011 and there are absolutely no doubts the Citizens will continue the great scoring run. However, their back line of Lescott, Kompany, Zabaleta and Kolarov is far from reliable and I really doubt they can keep a clean sheet when pitted against very good West Ham strikers.
Edin Dzeko could start after scoring the winner against Blackburn, but Carlos Tevez is not yet ready to feature. Kolo Toure, Jerome Boateng, Michael Johnson, Shay Given and Micah Richards are unavailable.
West Ham still fighting for their lives
West Ham have showed a lot of improvement in the second part of the season, which is hardly surprising considering that the squad was significantly reinforced in January. However, following the good run that saw them leave the relegation zone, the Hammers embarked on another poor run of results, slipping to the bottom of the standings after losing four straight games. Looking at their results one could think the Hammers are destined for relegation, but their performances, especially in the attacking department, are not that bad at all, and after creating a host of chances at Stamford Bridge, West Ham should be able to do the same at Eastlands, although this time they could actually score a couple. The Hammers have some important missings in midfield, but their strikers are all fit and firing on all cylinders, which is very important for the situation the team are in.
Scott Parker and Mark Noble continue to miss out, while Wayne Bridge is ineligible to face his parent club. Mathew Upson returns to the side, while O’Neil, Stanislas, Dyer and Kurucz remain sidelined.
There is every chance we will see a very open game at Eastlands, especially since West Ham have no choice but to try and win this game. Both sides are creating plenty of chances week in week out, so I believe that both teams to score is a very good bet in this situation.
Our prediction: Both teams to score
Odds: 1.95 (19/20)
Bookmaker: William Hill