MX23RW : Monday, January 18 05:10:08| >> :120:21447:21447:
Feb 19, 2020 at 7.30pm UK at Etihad Stadium
Attendance: 52,159
Man CityManchester City
West HamWest Ham United

Preview: Manchester City vs. West Ham United - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole provides team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of Wednesday's Premier League fixture between Manchester City and West Ham United.

Manchester City play host to West Ham United on Wednesday evening with the opportunity to move four points clear of third-placed Leicester City in the Premier League standings.

Meanwhile, the Hammers know that avoiding defeat at the Etihad Stadium will be enough to move them above Aston Villa and out of the relegation zone on goal difference.

Match preview

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola reacts on December 3, 2019© Reuters

Having had five days to digest the announcement that they face being banned from European competitions for two years due to allegedly breaking financial regulations, Man City, in theory, have little to play for in the Premier League.

With a 25-point gap to leaders Liverpool, the best City can realistically hope for is second position, leaving Pep Guardiola to put everything into winning trophies in three other competitions.

Nevertheless, despite the hostility aimed towards UEFA from the stands potentially detracting from the action on the pitch on Wednesday night, Guardiola will know that this is an important fixture in terms of getting City back on track.

For all of the chances which they created against Tottenham Hotspur at the beginning of the month, they failed to get on the scoresheet for the second game in succession - something of a rarity for any of Guardiola's teams.

Although the enforced two-and-a-half-week break will have frustrated the Spaniard, it has provided him with some thinking time ahead of plotting his strategy ahead of a hectic few weeks on both the domestic and European front.

Phil Foden celebrates scoring late on for Manchester City on October 1, 2019© Reuters

With the Champions League and EFL Cup final now taking priority, games such as the one on Wednesday evening could represent a chance for Phil Foden to gain more experience in England's top flight.

Despite the academy graduate being handed plenty of minutes in the cups, the playmaker remains with just two Premier League starts this season, a statistic which he will want to improve before the end of the campaign.

Guardiola will also want to ease Aymeric Laporte back into action after his recent break due to fatigue, a consequence of spending much of the season on the sidelines with a serious knee injury.

Although his absence has undoubtedly cost City over the past six months, not feeling the need to play him in many Premier League games going forward could prove to be a blessing in disguise for Guardiola with regards to claiming silverware in the coming months.

Despite City being able to play with a certain degree of freedom on Wednesday, the same cannot be said of West Ham, who travel to the Etihad desperately short of confidence.

For the majority of their contest with Brighton & Hove Albion back on February 1, it appeared that David Moyes was going to see his side end a five-match winless streak in all competitions.

West Ham boss David Moyes on February 1, 2020© Reuters

However, conceding two late goals resulted in the game ending in a 3-3 draw, leaving Moyes torn as to how to approach a game of this level after dropping into the bottom three.

In their recent games with Leicester City and Liverpool, Moyes has struggled to find the correct balance, with a significant change in strategy being required at the midway point of the first of those fixtures.

The Scot will probably feel that there is enough quality in his attack to score goals against a struggling City backline, although the recently-appointed boss may be lacking faith in his own defenders to put up enough of a fight at the other end.

The sole plus point from their most recent outing was Robert Snodgrass contributing two goals and an assist, extending his tally to five and four in those respective categories for the campaign.

While there have been several big-name arrivals over the last 18 months, the 32-year-old has emerged as West Ham's most creative player this season, effectively making him the most important attacker in the squad.

However, with trips to City, Liverpool and Arsenal all to come in their next four games, there is the possibility of Snodgrass being left powerless to prevent West Ham from being cut adrift in the battle to avoid relegation to the Championship.

Manchester City Premier League form: WWWDWL
Manchester City form (all competitions): WDWWLL

West Ham United Premier League form: WLDLLD
West Ham United (all competitions): LDLLLD

Team News

Manchester City's Aymeric Laporte pictured on January 21, 2020© Reuters

Like with Laporte, Benjamin Mendy has been suffering with muscle fatigue in recent weeks, although the extended break should mean that both players line up in defence.

While Mendy is expected to come in for the suspended Oleksandr Zinchenko, Laporte is a potential replacement for Nicolas Otamendi.

Foden could be in line to take the place of Ilkay Gundogan, while Bernardo Silva and Riyad Mahrez may get the nod on the flanks in the absence of the injured Raheem Sterling.

Moyes will be able to call upon new signing Jarrod Bowen for this contest, although it would come as a surprise if the winger featured in the first XI.

After mistakes were made in defence against Brighton, one of Issa Diop or Angelo Ogbonna could drop down to the substitutes' bench, resulting in a recall for Fabian Balbuena.

Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Walker, Fernandinho, Laporte, Mendy; De Bruyne, Rodri, Foden; Bernardo, Aguero, Mahrez

West Ham United possible starting lineup:
Fabianski; Fredericks, Diop, Balbuena, Cresswell; Soucek, Rice, Noble; Snodgrass, Antonio, Haller

Head To Head

Wednesday's encounter will represent the 111th competitive meeting between the two sides, with City registering 56 wins in comparison to 37 victories for West Ham.

Despite giving good accounts of themselves at the Etihad in recent years, West Ham have lost their last eight games against City, a run stretching back to the start of 2016.

Their last success came in September of the previous year as Victor Moses and Diafra Sakho helped the Hammers to a 2-1 triumph in the North-West.

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We say: Manchester City 4-1 West Ham United

While West Ham have troubled City in front of their own supporters in the past, we are predicting one-way traffic this weekend. Guardiola will expect a positive response from his team, and they could deliver with a relentless attacking performance.


Who will win Wednesday's Premier League clash between Manchester City and West Ham United?

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West Ham boss David Moyes on February 1, 2020
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Todays Game Header Right
1Manchester UnitedMan Utd18114334241037
2Manchester CityMan City17105229131635
3Leicester CityLeicester18112533211235
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs1896333171633
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham188552521429
10Aston Villa1582529161326
12Leeds UnitedLeeds187293034-423
13Crystal Palace196582233-1123
14Wolverhampton WanderersWolves196492129-822
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle175481827-919
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton193882229-717
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom1825111441-2711
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd1912161032-225

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