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EPL: Manchester City v West Ham Preview
After a solid start to the season, Manchester City face their toughest opponents yet when they host West Ham United. The Citizens failed to beat Slaven Bilic’s Hammers last season, but under new coach, Pep Guardiola, Man City have every right to believe that they can knock any team in their way to glory. Since Pep’s arrival, City have played with a certain swagger about them. But just how will that pan out for the Sky Blues against a more robust and fearless West Ham side?
English Premier League | Sunday 28 August | Etihad Stadium | 17:00
To Win (90 Mins)
Manchester City 3/10 | Draw 9/2 | West Ham United 17/2
Pep Guardiola has made a huge statement in the league so far, winning both his matches, including the infamous away game at Stoke, coming out 4-1 victors. Six goals in just two match-ups shows that Pep means business this season.
Despite all that, I’m not entirely convinced that Man City could actually win something this season. Having already played with the best of the crop around the world, this City side is far from what Guardiola usually has at his disposal, apart from Argentine danger man Sergio Aguero.
Aguero has been in sublime form for the Sky Blues so far, bagging six goals in his first three games in all competitions. If he keeps that up, Aguero could hit Messi or Ronaldo figures this season. The lethal Citizen can cause a goal out of nothing and is almost impossible to mark at times. A true nightmare for every defender and a joy to have in your team.
To compliment Aguero and the team, Pep has added the likes of Ilkay Gundogan and Leroy Sane to his side. The German duo have suffered injury setbacks in the past few weeks but have started training with the team. With that being said, Sane and Gundogan could get their first taste of Premier League action this weekend. John Stones has been another key addition to the team and has been rock-solid since his debut, giving Guardiola a headache selection when club captain, Vincent Kompany, returns from injury after the international break. With the style of play that Pep is slowly implementing into this City side, West Ham could be in for a rude awakening.
West Ham United
Despite an opening day defeat at the hands of Chelsea, West Ham hammered their way to victory against Bournemouth’s stubborn defence last week. It came late for the London club, who needed an 85th minute winner thanks to the head of Michail Antonio.
West Ham fans are yet to see new signing, Sofiane Feghouli, in a Hammers shirt this season, with the player suffering an ongoing hamstring injury. This weekend, though, the Algerian winger could be in line to make his Premier League debut with the club, but remains a firm doubt.
Bilic’s men avoided defeat against City last term and will hope to keep that run going for another season. Having said that, West Ham last beat Man City away from home in the league back in 2003. This will be the best chance in years for the Hammers.
West Ham are filled with players with huge potential who can challenge at the highest level. They’ve done good business in the market but have suffered a slight injury crisis of late. The likes of Andy Carroll and new acquisition Andre Ayew will both miss out due to long term injuries. But guess who should make their return?
Dimitri Payet was one of the standout players in Euro 2016 and has proven that when he’s fit, he is one of the best players in the Premier League. With Payet, Feghouli, Antonio, Enner Valencia and Gokhan Tore in attack, West Ham look like they could cause a few upsets this season.
Verdict: Draw (9/2)
Man City come into this game with a 100% record in their opening two ties, however, West Ham are tipped to ruin Guardiola’s men from making it three from three. The Hammers were impressive away from their turf last term, having been undefeated in 14 of their 19 away games last season. Man City weren’t entirely convincing in their first home game where they grinded out a 2-1 victory over Sunderland. With that being said, Bilic’s men got a point on their last trip to the Etihad and are tipped to do so once more. Back the draw at 9/2.
Written by Jesse Nagel @Hollywoodbets