On January 23rd, West Ham welcome title challengers Manchester City to Upton Park. West Ham sit sixth in the Premier League despite a loss to Newcastle in their last outing. The Hammers have not finished in the top six since the turn of the century, but are putting up a fight to do so in their last season at Upton Park. Manchester City are in the thick of a title battle. The Sky Blues received a boost last weekend with both Arsenal and Leicester City dropping points to Stoke and Aston Villa respectively. They’ll look to continue their momentum with a win against West Ham.
West Ham have had their injury problems this season and this match will be no different. They’ll be without three players that have all played key parts in their season so far. They’ll be without Diafra Sakho as he continues to recover from a thigh injury that has kept him out for the last few months. They’ll also be without Manuel Lanzini and Andy Carroll as they’ll both be missing with muscle injuries.
Manchester City have had injuries to important players all season. They will be getting both Fernandinho and Eliaquim Mangala back from injury after they’d missed the past few games. They are still dealing with big injuries though and will be without the services of captain Vincent Kompany, Samir Nasri, and Wilfried Bony.
- After going 10 meetings unbeaten against the Hammers, Manchester City have lost two of their last three against the east London side.
- The Hammers have made headlines this season with their away form beating Manchester City, Liverpool, and Arsenal all away from home, but they’ve only lost twice at home this season.
- Away from home, Manchester City haven’t been great with only four wins and only 10 goals scored in 10 games.
- In the reverse fixture, West Ham scored with two of their three shots on target, while City only scored with one of their eight.
West Ham: Dimitri Payet
West Ham have outperformed everyone’s expectations of them this season and a lot of that is down to the form of Dimitri Payet. The Frenchman is West Ham’s key man whenever he steps on the pitch. He leads the team in both goals and assists with six and four respectively. His 53 chances created leads the team by a large margin, with the second most being Aaron Cresswell with 26. Payet has been their best player and has stepped up in big games with two assists in their three away wins to Arsenal, Liverpool, and Manchester City.
Manchester City: Sergio Aguero
The last time these two teams met, West Ham came out victors, despite City dominating in terms of chances. Sergio Aguero played and assisted a goal in that game, but he’ll need to take his chances this time if City are to win. West Ham have made a habit of winning even when they don’t have a lot of chances, so City will have to be clinical in taking their chances. If anyone in that team can be clinical it’s Sergio Aguero. If City win the title it’ll probably be because the Argentine is able to stay fit and start finishing the chances that his teammates have missed this season.
As good as West Ham have been against the big teams this season, it’s hard to see past the talent in City’s squad. They’ve been inconsistent at times this season, but they have the ability to destroy teams like they did in their 4-0 victory over Crystal Palace last weekend.
Prediction: 3-1 Manchester City