Manchester City will travel to the London Stadium in the FA Cup third round on Friday to play West Ham United, who are currently 13th in the Premier League table. The two sides met in the Premier League in August, when Raheem Sterling scored twice in a 3-1 victory at the Etihad Stadium.
City have not met the Hammers in this competition since 2008, when a single goal from Elano was enough to send City through after a replay, Blues fans will have fond memories of a League Cup semi-final meeting in 2013/14. City beat West Ham 9-0 on aggregate over two legs on the way to lifting the trophy at Wembley.
West Ham v Manchester City | Friday 6 January | London Stadium | 21:55
To Win (90 Mins)
West Ham 37/10 | Draw 29/10 | Manchester City 13/20
Slaven Bilic led the Hammers to the quarter-final last term in his debut campaign as a manager in the competition. West Ham’s march was ended by eventual winners Manchester United at Upton Park.
Bilic's side will look to cause an upset against the Citizens and their 2-1 win over Chelsea in the EFL Cup will give them confidence. The Hammers have won two of their last five meetings against City and drew 2-2 in January last year, but lost the other two ties.
West Ham have lost back-to-back matches in the Premier League, going down 1-0 away to Leicester City before a 2-0 home loss against Manchester United on Monday where Sofiane Feghouli was harshly given a red card by referee Mike Dean. Bilic will be hoping his men can perform at their best on Friday in an effort to progress to the next stage in the competition.
French playmaker Dimitri Payet is easily the best Premier League player outside the top six and his trickery and dribbling ability make him a real handful for defenders. He is critically important to the team as he is the only player in the squad blessed with the ability to create something out of nothing.
Manuel Lanzini and Andre Ayew will also pose a threat going forward, while Andy Carroll’s physical presence and ability in the air will cause all sorts of problems for City’s defence.
Not since ending the 30-plus year trophy drought in 2011 have Manchester City lifted the FA Cup, falling just short in 2013 during the infamous defeat to Wigan at Wembley Stadium – Roberto Mancini’s last game in charge.
City have not been given the easiest draw for the third round, but Pep Guardiola will be hoping to mark his first taste of FA Cup action with a victory. The Citizens will be confident of progressing into the next round, having already beaten West Ham in the league this season.
Manchester City are third in the Premier League table, at the time of writing. They’ve won 13 of their 20 games played, having scored 41 goals. Guardiola’s side come into this tie off a 2-1 win over Burnley thanks to goals from Gael Clichy and Sergio Aguero. However, City will be without the services of Fernandinho after the midfielder was sent off in that game following a two-footed tackle on Johann Berg Gudmundsson in the 32nd minute.
Gabriel Jesus, who joined from Palmeiras for £27 million, will be hoping for an opportunity to showcase his talent. The 19-year-old Brazil sensation is the type of player who gets fans off their seats, with his blistering speed and natural flair making him a formidable proposition in one-on-ones.
His trickery is likely to make him popular among Premier League viewers, and he also boasts predatory finishing ability, with a level of composure that defies his tender years. Guardiola has an abundance of world class players at his disposal in the likes of Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva and Yaya Toure.
Verdict: Man City Win & Both Teams to Score - Yes (29/20)
West Ham are on a two-match losing streak and Man City should have enough class to win this tie. However, the Citizens have their troubles in defence which the Hammers will look to exploit. I’m going for the Away Win & Both Teams to Score at 29/20.
Written by Chadley Nagel @Hollywoodbets