Sunday sees Manchester City welcome West Ham United to the Etihad Stadium, with both sides sitting at opposite ends of the table. The hosts will see this as a good opportunity to cut Liverpool’s huge lead to 19 points, whilst extending their advantage over third-placed Leicester City to five-points, with both rivals on their mid-season break.
A point or an unlikely victory for West Ham will see them move out of the bottom three at the expense of Aston Villa, but it is going to be a tall order for David Moyes men.
Here we preview the game and offer the best live betting tips.
Manchester City lost their sixth game of the season at Tottenham last weekend as Guardiola’s side went down to a controversial 2-0 defeat. The Blues have now lost two more games than they did during the whole of their title winning league campaign last season, and another defeat will make it the first time Pep Guardiola has ever lost seven league games in a season since starting his managerial career a decade ago.
City’s home form is the third best in the Premier League, winning eight of their 12 games at the Etihad, but they have lost twice and were held to a 2-2 draw by Crystal Palace the last time they played in front of their home support.
West Ham are in real trouble having lost 12 of their last 20 EPL games, winning just four times during that run. They are without a win in their last six games and let a 2-0, then a 3-1 lead slip at home against Brighton last weekend, as the Seagulls salvaged a 3-3 draw.
The Hammers have won three times away from home in the league this season, the latest was a 1-0 success at Southampton in December. Their away form overall isn’t too bad for a side languishing in the bottom three as they have remained unbeaten in 50% of their league games on their travels. However, they have lost their last three on the road, including a 4-1 thumping at Leicester two weeks ago.
These two sides last met on the opening day of the season as City ran riot at the Olympic Stadium. A Raheem Sterling hat-trick (Sterling is out of this game) plus goals from Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero gave the visitors a 5-0 win and the perfect start to their title defence.
The last time the sides met at the Etihad Stadium, City were narrow 1-0 winners thanks to an Aguero penalty, and the Blues had won the six previous competitive games between the clubs. However, West Ham did win at the Etihad in 2015, the last time they have beaten City; goals from Victor Moses and Pedro Obiang gave the Hammers an unlikely away win.
Manchester City are currently on an eight-match winning run against West Ham in all competitions. The Blues have scored an impressive 28 goals in those encounters, averaging 3.5 goals, and have won by at least two goals in six of those games. The last 12 goals in the eight games between these two clubs have all been scored by City.
City remain the top scorers in the Premier League, averaging 2.6 goals per game. Over half (56%) of City’s league games have featured at least four goals.
West Ham are without a win in six games and have conceded on average, 1.5 goals per game under David Moyes. Their last two defeats in the Premier League has also seen them lose both halves.
West Ham have not drawn any of their last eight EPL away games, and 75% of those games saw only one side find the net.
Sergio Aguero has scored 10 goals in 13 matches against the Hammers and has scored a penalty in each of the sides last two games.
West Ham’s Issa Diop has scored two goals in his last four league games, opening the scoring in the first half on both occasions.
It is hard to see anything other than a City win and an early goal could open the floodgates. The hosts will be without Raheem Sterling, but they have plenty more quality to call on. Sergio Aguero enjoys playing and scoring against West Ham, so expect him to be amongst the goals, whilst Kevin de Bruyne will be a constant threat again.
We see a comfortable home win, probably to nil, but the time of the first goal will decide the margin of victory.
Get Man City to win 4-0, 5-0 or 6-0 @4/1 with xxx
Over 5.5 goals is 10/3 with xxx
Sergio Aguero to score 2 goals or more is 9/5 with xxx
Issa Diop first goal is 75/1 with xxx