Manchester City look to take a step closer towards securing the Premier League runner-up spot as they host West Ham United at the Etihad Stadium, after this fixture was initially postponed due to Storm Ciara ten days ago.
A win will see City move 22 points behind league leaders – Liverpool and four points clear of third-placed Leicester, whilst West Ham need just a point to move out of the relegation zone at Aston Villa’s expense.
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Raheem Sterling is ruled out for Manchester City with a hamstring injury for at least a few weeks.
Aymeric Laporte and Benjamin Mendy will both face late fitness tests as they continue to rebuild their match fitness, following lengthy injuries.
Oleksandr Zinchenko (suspension) and Leroy Sane (knee) aren’t expected to return until after City’s winter break.
West Ham could welcome Felipe Anderson back from a rib injury which had sidelined him in recent weeks.
Andriy Yarmolenko (thigh) and Jack Wilshire (groin) are still ruled out.
Man City saw an unbeaten five league match run ended last weekend at Tottenham (W4, D1, L1), yet have kept just two clean sheets in their last eleven home outings across all competitions.
West Ham come into this game with just two points from their last five league games (D2, L3), whist mustering just seven points from their last nine away league trips (W2, D1, L6).
- Manchester City are unbeaten in their last eight league meetings against West Ham (W7, D1).
- West Ham have won just one of their last 14 trips to the Etihad Stadium in all competitions (W12, D1, L1).
- City’s Sergio Aguero has scored in his last two competitive appearances against West Ham.
- West Ham are yet to receive a penalty against Man City in 37 previous Premier League meetings, whereas the Citizens have scored all four of their penalties in this fixture.
- There has been 112 yellow cards in this fixture with West Ham picking up 59 cautions to City’s 53.
Man City will surely be hurting at losing Raheem Sterling to a hamstring injury but with Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero in form, I really can’t see them struggling against a West Ham team low on confidence.
There is however one positive for the Hammers in that they were clinical and quick on the attack last weekend, yet their defensive flaws still remains brutally exposed for opposition which will suit City nicely.
I therefore can’t bet on anything but a home win although I just don’t see it being a huge win given City’s recent sluggish performances.
Prediction: Manchester City 2-0 West Ham United
Result: Manchester City 2-0 West Ham United