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Can Guardiola’s Perfect Start at Manchester City Continue?

Last updated: August 26, 2016 by Leon Marshal

Game details

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Kick-off: Sunday, 4pm
Venue: Etihad Stadium
Coverage: Sky Sports 1
Home form: WW
Away form: LW
Last season: Man City 1 – 2 West Ham
Competition: The Premier League

The score line may have been a little flattering but Manchester City’s 4-1 win against Stoke last week made a strong statement of intent. Two goals apiece from Sergio Agüero and Nolito were more than enough to cement the victory, which never really looked in doubt. It’s so far so good for new manager Pep Guardiola, with 2 wins from 2 games in the Premier League and a spot in the Champions League confirmed after a 6-1 aggregate victory against Steaua Bucuresti. Agüero is in top form and the Citizen’s supporters will be looking to him to supply the goals in a match that they will expect to win.

West Ham on the other hand have had a torrid time with injuries. New record signing Andre Ayew incurred a thigh injury on his debut that will see him out for up to 4 months, while striker Andy Carrol is the latest name to be added to the injury list. This leaves the team very short on attacking options and could mean goals will be hard to come by over the coming weeks.

But West Ham have been something of a bogey team for Manchester City in recent fixtures. Beaten on their home turf in this fixture last season, City could only muster a 2-2 draw when they visited the Boleyn Ground in January. Guardiola may not be too aware of this, but he will surely expect nothing less than another win from his team, who are hotly tipped to become title winners.


Team News

West Ham have had a host of injuries for key players of late. Andy Carroll adds to the growing list of Andre Ayew, Aaron Cresswell and Sofiane Feghouli.

West Ham should welcome back both Dimitri Payet and Manuel Lanzini. It remains to be seen whether the pair will start, but both are expected to play at least some part in the fixture.

Bacary Sagna and Kelechi Iheanacho have both picked up injuries. Iheanacho would likely not have started anyway so we should only see his place on the bench replaced by Wilfred Bony if he doesn’t recover in time.

Jesus Navas played in place of Manuel Nolito in the last fixture, though this rotation is likely to continue as we expect Nolito to start.


Expected line-ups:

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Manchester City (4-1-4-1): Caballero, Zabaleta, Otamendi, Stones, Kolarov, De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Silva, Nolito, Agüero, Sterling.
Subs Hart, Fernando, Navas, Delph, Clichy, Maffeo, Bony.
Injured: Gundogan, Sagna, Sane, Kompany, Iheanacho.
Doubtful:
Not available:
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West Ham (4-2-3-1): Adrián, Byram, Collins, Reid, Masuaku, Kouyaté, Nordtveit, Payet, Noble, Antonio, Valencia.
Subs Randolph, Obiang, Ogbonna, Lanzini, Calleri, Töre.
Injured: Cresswell, Ayew, Carroll, Feghouli.
Doubtful:
Not available:

So far this season

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Manchester City this season West Ham this season
1st League Position 10th
2 (1) (at home) Wins (away) 1 (0)
4-1 vs. Stoke City Biggest win 1-0 vs Bournemouth
0 (at home) Draws (away) 0
Biggest Defeat 1-2 vs. Chelsea
Sergio Agüero (3) Top scorer Michail Antonio/James Collins (1)
Raheem Sterling (2) Assist Leader Gokhan Töre (1)
Y5, R0 Discipline Y5, R0
0 Failures to score 0
0 Clean Sheets 1
2 Both Teams to Score Games 1
2 Over 2.5 Games 1
0 Under 2.5 Games 1
  • Manchester City are unbeaten in the Premiership, winning both their games so far against Sunderland and Stoke. 
  • West Ham have been less clinical in front of goal, but have managed to score on both occasions with 2 goals in 2 games. 
  • They are also scoring freely, with 6 goals in total from the 2 games, with both games having over 2.5 goals. 
  • West Ham took 4 points from a possible 6 against Manchester City last season.

Head to Head

Last 5 meetings between the two sides
Date Competition Game Result First Goal-scorer
1/23/2016 The Premier League West Ham 2 – 2 Man City  Valencia 1′
9/19/2015 The Premier League Man City 1 – 2 West ham  Moses 6′
4/19/2015 The Premier League Man City 2 – 0 West Ham Collins OG 18′
10/25/2014 The Premier League West Ham 2 – 1 Man City Amalfitano 21′
5/11/2014 The Premier League Man City 2 – 0 West Ham Nasri 39′

Conclusion

This will be an extremely difficult task for West Ham, especially after their elimination from the qualifying stage of the Europa League. They should however be able to field a much stronger line up and have a good record against the big teams. But Manchester City’s – and especially Sergio Agüero’s form will likely prove too much. You’d expect the Argentine to score and there should be goals, perhaps at both ends, since city’s defence looks equally as fragile as West Ham’s currently, while the visitors could get some joy through a counter attacking approach. BetVictor have great prices for over 2.5 goals and for Agüero to be the first goalscorer in the match.