After a summer that promised so much, West Ham United have failed to live up to their pre-season expectations so far as they welcome Manchester City to the London Stadium on Saturday.
An influx of new signings at a cost of over £100m suggested the Hammers would be pushing for a top six finish, but thus far, are rooted in the bottom half of the table.
City are still one of three teams in the Premier League who remain unbeaten and they’ll be looking to take the game to West Ham in their quest to make it five consecutive league wins.
Here, Sportingly Better dissect the best tips for this weekend’s clash and take a closer look at the players who are likely to impress.
Traditionally, West Ham usually suffer at the mercy of Manchester City and even more so in home games, losing the last two against The Citizens 4-1 & 4-0.
Manager Manuel Pellegrini will know just how tough Saturday’s game will be and it hasn’t been made easier with the number of players in the treatment room.
Up to seven first team players will miss out, although English pair Jack Wilshere and Andy Carroll are nearing a return to the starting line-up.
Robert Snodgrass is banned after picking up his fifth booking of the season against Huddersfield Town but skipper Mark Noble is available, returning after a two-game absence for a red card at Leicester City last month.
City manager Pep Guardiola has no fresh injury concerns but is unlikely to risk Bernardo Silva or Nicolas Otamendi, who aren’t quite fully fit from their recent setbacks.
Kevin de Bruyne and Benjamin Mendy will definitely miss out through injury but Vincent Kompany and Ilkay Gundogan are in line for a start.
Sergio Aguero will spearhead the attack supported by Riyad Mahrez and either Raheem Sterling or Leroy Sane on the left flank, providing City with plenty of goal scoring options.
Guardiola’s side are as short as 1.27 to record their third successive league win at the London Stadium whereas you can back the Hammers at a whopping 14.0
There’s no hiding from the fact that it’ll be one of West Ham’s toughest fixtures of the season but they do have it in their armoury to cause an upset.
Felipe Anderson is enjoying a fruitful spell in front of goal and Marko Arnautovic is more than capable of causing the City defence problems.
Defensively, Issa Diop and Fabian Balbuena will have to be at their very best to stop the expected onslaught of City pressure.
It would take a brave man to bet against City losing as they really are beginning to get into their stride this season.
Even with a European game on Tuesday, don’t expect City to take their foot off the gas and a victory against the Hammers will prepare them nicely for the visit to Lyon.
With that in mind, in Champions League betting, you can back City to lift the Champions League at 4.7 with Betfair and they’re 2.52 just to reach the final itself.
For Saturday’s game however, it’s hard to look past a City win but it should be an entertaining affair with West Ham looking to cause an upset.
West Ham: GK – Fabianski; DF – Cresswell, Diop, Balbuena, Zabaleta; MF – Anderson, Noble, Rice, Obiang, Diangana; ST – Arnautovic
Man City: GK – Ederson; DF – Walker, Kompany, Laporte, Delph; MF – Gundogan, Fernandinho, D Silva; ST – Sterling, Mahrez, Aguero
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