West Ham vs Manchester City predictions: Hammers can put up a fight

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Pep Guardiola's limited defensive options mean West Ham can cause Manchester City problems
Pep Guardiola's limited defensive options mean West Ham can cause Manchester City problems

Manchester City moved one step closer to retaining their Premier League title with a 5-1 victory at Wolves in midweek and now face arguably the tougher of their two remaining games as they visit West Ham. 

The Hammers will be looking to give Mark Noble an apt send-off in his final home game at the club and will not roll over for the Citizens — they have won three of their four matches against the top five at the London Stadium this term.

Pep Guardiola’s side have reacted well since being dumped out of the Champions League by Real Madrid and their fourth title in five years is now within touching distance. 

Team news

City’s strong attacking play in recent weeks has disguised the fact that they have serious injury issues at the back. 

John Stones, Ruben Dias and Kyle Walker are all ruled out with Aymeric Laporte and Fernandinho also doubts meaning Nathan Ake is the only recognised centre-back at full fitness.

Rodri is likely to fill in alongside the Dutchman as emergency cover.

For West Ham, Michail Antonio and Craig Dawson both have knocks but should be fit to play while Said Benrahma is a major doubt with an ankle injury. 

Angelo Ogbonna is out for the rest of the campaign. 

Nathan Ake will marshal Manchester City's defence against West Ham
Nathan Ake will marshal Manchester City's defence against West Ham

The stats

It is almost three months since City last tasted defeat in the Premier League, winning eight and drawing two of their 10 league matches since February's home loss to Tottenham.

Pep Guardiola's men have won their last four league games, scoring four goals or more in each of those matches. 

The Citizens have won both of their previous two top-flight encounters with the Irons, but suffered defeat in their most recent trip to East London — last October's Carabao Cup fourth-round tie.

David Moyes' men have not won any of their last four matches at the London Stadium however and last recorded a home league victory against City in October 2014.

Predictions

Michail Antonio is an obvious threat to Manchester City's injury-hit backline
Michail Antonio is an obvious threat to Manchester City's injury-hit backline

The champions’ dominant attack has been in particularly ruthless form in recent games, scoring 19 goals in their last four league matches. 

They could have scored more than five in both of their recent clashes with Newcastle and Wolves and have bounced back in style from their Champions League heartache. 

However, there are plenty of questions about their makeshift defence that West Ham should be able to ask, particularly as Ake tends to be weak in the air. 

Set-plays will also cause issues for Guardiola’s men, with the Hammers particularly strong in those situations. 

Moyes' outfit can get on the scoresheet, although they look likely to do so in a City win. 

With the lack of height in this Citizens’ side, Antonio may have a major say if he is passed fit and if not, Tomas Soucek will be a handful at corners and free-kicks. 

Despite that, the attacking riches at City’s disposal means they should be able to get the victory and take a huge leap closer to another title.

Tags

Premier LeagueManchester CityWest Ham United
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