Friday, April 10, 2020

Prediction: Manchester City vs West Ham

Verdict: Sergio Aguero to score 2+ goals

Best Odds: 8/5

Bookmaker: Bet365

Simply looking to make an on-field statement in midweek, Manchester City will host relegation scrappers West Ham at the Etihad on Wednesday night.

Manchester City

Starting with the hosts, hit with back-to-back defeats against Tottenham and Manchester United since opening February, Pep Guardiola’s side are still reeling from the news that they have been banned from the Champions League for the next two seasons. Already relinquishing their Premier League crown after finding themselves sat 25 points adrift of runaway leaders Liverpool, there is no doubt that the former Barcelona boss is enduring his most testing spell at the Etihad. With just one win against top-flight opposition in their last four attempts, the Sky Blues have continued to deal with some rather glaring issues at the back. Landing just a sole clean sheet since opening the New Year, the soon to be former champions have also remarkable landed just a tri of Premier League clean sheets in their last 15 appearances. However, picking up a 5-0 win when they faced off against West Ham on the opening weekend, there is no doubt that leading marksman Serio Aguero should be looking to extend on his recent purple patch. Finding the net against the Hammers earlier in the season, the 31-year-old has bagged eight goals in his last seven matches across all competitions, including scoring in four of his last five Premier League outings.

Team News

Manchester City defenders Aymeric Laporte, Benjamin Mendy and John Stones could all return on Wednesday night.

Raheem Sterling suffered a hamstring injury against Tottenham and is unlikely to be risked, while Oleksandr Zinchenko is suspended.

West Ham

As for the visitors, throwing away two late goals against Brighton and having to settle for a point last time out, West Ham find themselves still firmly at the heart of a crisis. With the mood around the London Stadium becoming more toxic by the week, David Moyes finds his side sat in the bottom-three and without a Premier League win since New Year’s Day. Now seen to be one of the leading contenders for the drop with an unenviable schedule ahead, the former Manchester United boss has see his side lose three of their last four appearances, a run that also saw them come crashing out of the FA Cup at the hands of Championship outfit West Brom. Now sat one-point adrift of safety before their back-to-back matches against City and Liverpool, there is no doubt that fans around East London will be hugely concerned by their side’s continued issues at the back. Shipping a trio of goals against fellow relegation scrappers Brighton earlier in the month, West Ham have landed just a sole Premier League clean sheet over the past two months and they have now been hit with nine goals in just their last three top-flight appearances.

Team News

West Ham’s Felipe Anderson is in contention to play after missing five games because of rib and back injuries.

January signing Jarrod Bowen could make his debut, but this match will come too early for Andriy Yarmolenko

Key Factors to Consider

  • When the two sides faced off earlier in the season, Manchester City picked up a 5-0 win at the London Stadium.
  • In fact, Wednesday’s hosts have won each of their last nine matchups against the Hammers, scoring three or more goals in seven of those victories.
  • West Ham have failed to win any of their last six matches across all competitions.
  • The Hammers have also shipped nine goals in their last three Premier League appearances.
  • Sergio Aguero has scored City’s past five Premier League goals – no player has ever registered six in a row for the club.

Conclusion

While the reigning champions might still find themselves in the midst of a sluggish patch, there is no doubt that City will see Wednesday as a real chance to make a statement on the pitch. Given West Ham’s continued issues at the back and their woeful record against Pep Guardiola’s men, it is hard to see anything other than a routine victory for the midweek hosts. With Sergio Aguero likely to be relishing the Hammers’ arrival in midweek, we’re backing the 31-year-old to enjoy another highly successful night’s work in the final third.

Verdict: Sergio Aguero to score 2+ goals

Best Odds: 8/5

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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