Thursday, May 24, 2018

Citizens can hammer home title warning against the Irons

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 27 Aug 2016

Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling seems to have found form under new boss Pep Guardiola

Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling seems to have found form under new boss Pep Guardiola

Manchester City have started life under highly-rated boss Pep Guardiola in a decent fashion.

The Citizens have played four competitive games and recorded four victories under the former-Barcelona boss.

On Sunday afternoon Guardiola’s City hosts West Ham at the Etihad Stadium.

The Hammers arrive in Manchester with major injury problems and will need major luck to come away from Manchester with anything.

City have been decent under Guardiola

Manchester City have been decent under their highly-rated boss so far, but you get the feeling that there is still a lot more to come from the Citizens. City does have a talented and expensively assembled group of players.

Two of the positive aspects of Guardiola’s rein so far has been the performances of striker Sergio Aguero and England winger Raheem Sterling in particular.

Argentinian international Aguero seems to have stepped-up his game this season if that was possible. The 28-year-old has scored three times in two Premier League appearances so far this season, as well as a hat-trick in the Champions League play-off against Steaua Bucharest.

Maybe the biggest effect Guardiola can have at City would be to find a way to keep his diminutive striker fit and injury-free. If he can do that then it will be a major achievement.

Sterling has failed to live-up to his massive price tag from last summer. However, under the new boss Sterling seems to be finding his feet and top form. He has reportedly been told to run at defenders, as he has the pace and trickery to cause opposition defences major trouble.

That confidence from Guardiola has seen the former Liverpool winger look like a different player to the one at City last season and the one who struggled so badly for England at Euro 2016. Maybe Guardiola is the one to get the very best out of Sterling.

Hammers have a major injury list

West Ham arrives in Manchester with a major injury list. The Hammers are reportedly close to signing Italian striker Simone Zaza from Italian champions Juventus for a fee of around £24million. In the meantime, the Irons are without the forward talents of Andy Carroll, Diafra Sakho and Andre Ayew through injury.

To make matters worse left-back Aaron Cresswell , Algerian playmaker Sofiane Feghouli and defensive midfielder Havard Nordtveit are also missing through injury, while attacking midfielders Dimitri Payet and Manuel Lanzini are also fitness doubts.

That means that Slaven Bilic could be very low on players come 4PM on Sunday afternoon. Despite last season’s win in this fixture, the Irons will be travelling to the North West in hope more than expectation.

It would be a major boost for the Hammers to take something from the game after their surprise 1-0 home defeat in the Europa League against Astra on Thursday night.

City can send a title warning

Manchester City are no doubt title contenders and this game could be one were the Citizens can hammer home their title credentials. Their next match after the international break is a Manchester derby at Old Trafford, which will be a big game even this early in the season.

Manchester City are major favourites to win the clash against the Hammers at odds of 2/7 and they look highly likely winners of this clash.

West Ham seems ideal opponents for City and they could take full advantage of the Irons personnel problems at the Etihad Stadium. The visitors could be in major trouble if Manchester City finds form on Sunday.

Manchester City have the talent and under Guardiola they can reach great heights. West Ham could be unfortunate victims of the Guardiola effect at the Etihad Stadium.

Does West Ham have a chance of pulling off a shock at the Etihad Stadium?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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