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

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Premier League clash between West Ham United and Manchester City, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

West Ham United welcome Manchester City to the London Stadium on Saturday lunchtime looking to extend an impressive three-game unbeaten run in the Premier League.

The Hammers have a dreadful record against this weekend's opponents in recent times, but go into this game sitting above them in the table for the first time since March 2009.


Match preview

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola pictured on October 17, 2020© Reuters

When it comes to bogey teams, they do not come much more obvious than Man City for West Ham when they welcome them to the London Stadium.

The Hammers' new home has been one of the happiest hunting grounds for Man City in recent years, with Pep Guardiola's side winning all five of their previous visits - including four in the league - scoring at least four times in all of those games and netting 22 overall, while conceding only once.

For comparison, Man City scored the same number of goals in their last 20 visits to West Ham's previous stadium Upton Park, and a continuation of their free-scoring form at the former Olympic Stadium could see West Ham succumb to an unwanted record.

No team in the history of the Football League, stretching back to 1888, has ever shipped four or more goals in five successive home matches against a particular opponent, with West Ham currently jointly holding that dubious honour alongside Man City themselves, who conceded at least four goals in four consecutive home games against Wolverhampton Wanderers from 1957 to 1960.

Man City's dominance over Saturday's hosts is by no means confined to the London Stadium, though; they have won all nine meetings during the Guardiola era, and a 10th on Saturday would also see West Ham equal their longest ever losing run against a particular opponent.

West Ham United celebrate Manuel Lanzini's equalizer against Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on October 18, 2020© Reuters

There are plenty of reasons for West Ham to be optimistic that they can stop that rot this time around, though, not least that they currently sit above the former champions in the table - the first time for more than 11-and-a-half years that has been the case heading into this fixture.

David Moyes's side will still be flying high after their unforgettable showdown against bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur last weekend too, with Manuel Lanzini's stunning 94th-minute equaliser sealing one of the all-time great Premier League comebacks.

The Hammers became the first team in Premier League history to avoid defeat after trailing by three or more goals as late as the 81st minute, somehow turning things around after Spurs had blitzed them with three goals in the opening 16 minutes.

West Ham have now scored 10 goals in their last three Premier League outings and could score three or more goals in four consecutive league games for the first time since September 1928.

By sheer coincidence, the first three results of that run 92 years ago were identical to the last three results for West Ham - a 4-0 home win, a 3-0 away win and a 3-3 draw; for that remarkable pattern to continue this weekend, West Ham would need to beat Man City 4-1.

West Ham United manager David Moyes celebrates in October 2020© Reuters

Moyes - now back on the touchline after recovering from coronavirus - will not be getting carried away enough to expect that, but he has now seen his side score three or more goals in a league-high nine different top-flight games this calendar year - as many in 24 league games since the Scot's return as they managed in their last 50 under Manuel Pellegrini.

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of that run is that the last two of those have come away at Leicester City and Spurs, but their most recent home game was also memorable as they thrashed Wolves 4-0.

Indeed, they have now scored 12 goals in their last three home games across all competitions, netting three or more times on their own turf in three consecutive games for the first time since March 2011.

There is plenty for Manchester City to be worried about, then, particularly as they have already conceded seven times this season and could be without Aymeric Laporte, Nathan Ake, Benjamin Mendy and Fernandinho from their defensive ranks.

Question marks were raised over their defence again when Porto took the lead during Wednesday's Champions League clash, although City did hit back to win 3-1 and get their latest quest for European glory off to what Guardiola described as a "perfect" start.

Manchester City's Ferran Torres celebrates scoring against Porto in the Champions League on October 21, 2020© Reuters

Man City also returned to winning ways in the Premier League with a 1-0 victory over Arsenal last weekend, lifting them up to 11th place with a game in hand over most of the teams in the division.

Guardiola's side are now unbeaten in their last five away games across all competitions, although they have lost on their last two league visits to London - against Tottenham and Chelsea.

Man City only lost two of their previous 18 trips to the capital prior to that and have not lost three successive top-flight matches in London since 2009, so they will be hoping that their incredible record at West Ham continues in this game.

Should that be the case then they could lift themselves as high as third temporarily and would have the same record as they had after five games of last season.

However, rarely during Guardiola's time in England will he have come up against a West Ham side with such confidence, and Saturday's showdown promises to be a much tougher test than they have experienced on their previous trips to the London Stadium.

West Ham United Premier League form: LLWWD
West Ham United form (all competitions): LWWLWD

Manchester City Premier League form: WLDW
Manchester City form (all competitions): WLWDWW



Team News

Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho walks off the pitch after picking up an injury against Porto on October 21, 2020© Reuters

Guardiola admitted that his side are starting to feel the impact of the relentless fixture schedule, which gets no easier with five games to come in the next two weeks.

Fernandinho limped off late against Porto having only lasted nine minutes during a sub appearance, and he could be sidelined for a month to leave Man City light of defensive options.

Ake pulled out on the morning of that match with a slight groin injury, while Laporte also missed the game - although he is expected back in training ahead of this one and so could therefore be in contention.

There is more good news regarding Kevin De Bruyne, who is also due to return to training ahead of this game after missing the last two matches with the thigh problem he sustained while on international duty.

Gabriel Jesus and Benjamin Mendy are long-term absentees who are not expected back until after next month's international break, but fit-again Sergio Aguero could lead the line once more.

Raheem Sterling will also be expecting to start again, having been directly involved in 11 goals from his last six Premier League starts against West Ham, including a hat-trick in the corresponding fixture last season.

West Ham, meanwhile, are sweating over the fitness of Michail Antonio, who was taken off before the comeback against Spurs due to a tight hamstring, and Sebastien Haller.

Antonio is expected to recover in time, while Haller could also be in contention should he pass a late fitness test.

West Ham could also hand a debut to deadline day signing Said Benrahma following his arrival from Brentford on an initial loan deal.

Benrahma may have to settle for that coming from the bench at this stage, although Lanzini will hope to have earned a starting spot with his goal-of-the-season contender against Spurs.

Fabian Balbuena scored the first of West Ham's goals in that comeback, but he may be dropped back to the bench in favour of the fit-again Issa Diop.

West Ham United possible starting lineup:
Fabianski; Coufal, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Masuaku; Bowen, Soucek, Rice, Lanzini; Antonio

Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Walker, Dias, Ake, Zinchenko; De Bruyne, Rodri, Foden; Mahrez, Aguero, Sterling


SM words green background

We say: West Ham United 1-2 Manchester City

This is a much more difficult fixture to predict now than it has been in recent years, when Man City have run riot. Guardiola's side have injury problems and West Ham will be full of confidence, but we are still backing the visitors to have enough to squeeze out a victory.

It is unlikely to be quite as emphatic as it has been in recent times, but Man City showed last weekend against Arsenal that they are capable of grinding out a result and we expect them to do the same here.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Away Win:data


Video prediction

Watch the Sports Mole Football Shorts prediction for this game below:


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Who will win Saturday's Premier League clash between West Ham and Man City?

West Ham
Draw
Man City
West Ham
0.0%
Draw
0.0%
Man City
0.0%
0
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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola pictured on October 17, 2020
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Tottenham HotspurSpurs96212191220
2Liverpool96212116520
3Chelsea953122101218
4Leicester CityLeicester96031812618
5Southampton95221713417
6Everton95131916316
7Aston Villa85031911815
8West Ham UnitedWest Ham94231510514
9Wolverhampton WanderersWolves9423910-114
10Manchester UnitedMan Utd84131314-113
11Crystal Palace94141213-113
12Arsenal9414910-113
13Manchester CityMan City83321011-112
14Leeds UnitedLeeds93241417-311
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle93241015-511
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton92341315-29
17Burnley8125412-85
18Fulham9117918-94
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom9036618-123
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd9018415-111

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