Everything You Need To Know: West Ham vs Manchester City (Premier League)
Fresh from an impressive Champions League victory on Wednesday night, Manchester City return to Premier League action on Saturday afternoon as they head to the capital to face a revolutionised West Ham at the London Stadium.
Ferran Torres and Phil Foden linked up brilliantly late on in a feisty affair between City and Porto in midweek to seal victory and provide supporters with a small glimpse of what to expect in the future. Torres’ sublime solo effort saw City come from behind to win 3-1 in a game which also saw a fantastic free kick by Ilkay Gundogan and a first goal in over 200 days for the returning Sergio Agüero.
David Moyes’ West Ham pulled off of a significantly more dramatic turnaround in their last outing against Spurs last weekend, as a stunning Manuel Lanzini strike rocketed into the top corner in the 94th minute to complete the most astonishing of late come-backs from 3-0 down.
As Pep Guardiola prepares to go up against former Manchester United manager David Moyes and his assistant, former City boss Stuart Pearce, here is everything you need to know ahead of our trip to West Ham.
Fernandinho frustratingly suffered an injury late on in the in Champions League and is expected to be out for less than a month, according to Pep Guardiola in his pre-match press conference. The Catalan will also be without Gabriel Jesus and Benjamin Mendy for the trip to London, though it is unknown if summer signing Nathan Aké will be fit after he missed the clash against Porto with “niggles”.
Star players Kevin De Bruyne and Aymeric Laporte were pictured returning to training on Thursday, but is thought Saturday’s game will be too soon for the pair. Guardiola refused to confirm or deny the status on the pair ahead of Saturday's clash.
Unlike the City boss, West Ham’s manger David Moyes is hopeful of having a fully fit squad for the match. Sebastien Haller and Michail Antonio are both expected to be fit, despite Haller suffering a knock and the latter having to come off against Spurs. Their latest recruit, Said Benrahma could also feature on Saturday.
Head To Head:
The London Stadium is famous for records that have been both broken and set in it, in the past decade and Manchester City could inflict a record equalling 10th successive defeat to West Ham at the weekend. The Blues have won on all their previous visits to the London stadium by an aggregate score of 22-1, with Raheem Sterling scoring a hat-trick in 2019.
Sergio Agüero has 10 goals in 17 appearances against the Hammers and you wouldn’t put it past the Argentine to add to that tally and net for the first time in the Premier League since January.
Overall, this weekend’s game will be the 112th meeting between the two sides, with City having won 57, drawn 17 and lost 37. Scoring 195 goals and conceding 149 since the first game in 1924. The last time Manchester City lost away to West Ham was almost six years ago, a 2-1 defat at Upton Park on October 25th 2014.
Despite having a game in hand, the Blues currently sit 11th in the league with seven points having won two, drawn one and lost one of their opening four matches. Pep Guardiola has never failed to reach double points figures as a manager in his past 11 seasons and a loss on Saturday would result in Manchester City losing more than one of their opening five games for first time since 2008.
City did though come out on top last Saturday against Arsenal in a hard-thought, enthralling affair at the Etihad. City won the game 1-0 courtesy of Raheem Sterling’s 23rd minute goal. Guardiola’s side then beat Porto in midweek and will be eager to make it three wins out of three in all competitions.
West Ham have had a number of bizarre results in the past weeks, not least the incredible 3-3 draw against Spurs last Sunday. The Hammers are situated in 9th place and also have seven points but have played a game more than their opponents. Before last weekend's draw, Moyes’ side had managed resounding victories over both Wolves and Leicester either side of a 4-1 thumping away to Everton in the League Cup.
Jarred Bowen scored twice when they beat Wolves 4-0 late last month and then Bowen was on the scoresheet again as they beat Leicester 3-0, just a week after City had lost 5-2 to the Foxes. West Ham have scored 11 goals and are unbeaten in their last three league games.
Anthony Taylor will also be making the trip South for Saturday’s game as the vastly experienced referee prepares to take charge of his 262nd top flight match. The official, who made history when he became the first referee since 1901 to take charge of FA Cup finals in August will be joined by assistant referees Gary Beswick and Adam Nunn. Peter Bankes (VAR) and Neil Davies (AVAR) will be overseeing operations from Stockley Park, while David Coote will take up touchline duties as fourth official.
The Premier League’s “No room for racism” campaign will also continue into this weekend with supporters encouraged to “Challenge it. Report It. Change It” as players, officials and coaching staff continue to “take the knee” before kick off, in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
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