Manchester City v West Ham United Betting Preview: Latest odds, team news, tips and predictions
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Champions Manchester City continue their quest for an historic and unprecedented quadruple when they welcome West Ham to The Etihad. Guardiola’s men will be buoyed by their Carabao Cup victory against Chelsea and will turn their attentions to toppling Liverpool at the top of the table. However, West Ham have shown that they can mix it with the big boys and will be looking to spring a big surprise on Wednesday night.
City have won 13 out of their last 15 games in all competitions and look well placed to continue marching towards their quadruple ambitions. After hammering Chelsea 6-0 in the league, they secured a stunning turnaround in Schalke, coming from 2-1 down to win 3-2 despite being a man down. Given that and their remarkable League Cup victory over Chelsea, it seems as if all four titles are destined to go to the blue half of Manchester. But Guardiola is one of the best at guarding against complacency, with losses to Crystal Palace and Newcastle a timely reminder that the run-in won’t be easy.
West Ham are the type of team that have proven tricky for the big boys this year. Just a few weeks ago City’s rivals Liverpool were pegged back to a 1-1 draw after Antonio scored to earn West Ham a share of the spoils. Victories over Arsenal and Manchester United also showcased their credentials, but Pellegrini will be concerned at the recent form of the Hammers. They had not won in five games until their 3-1 win over relegation threatened Fulham on Friday. Despite falling a goal down, Javier Hernandez, Diop and Antonio all scored to get them back to winning ways.
West Ham will most likely look to setup and contain City at the start, with the likes of Antonio and Felipe Anderson carrying the ball to lead any counter-attacks that may present themselves. They will need to guard against the City onslaught in the first 15 minutes, as City have been devastating in getting early goals and putting the best laid plans to bed. But with talisman Marko Arnautovic back playing and any thoughts of a January transfer long diminished, West Ham can try and focus back to playing well and pushing themselves up the table.
In team news, Aymeric Laporte and Fernandinho were both substituted and remain doubts for this game. Fernandinho will be a big miss if ruled unfit, given how City struggled and lost some games without the Brazilian enforcer being available. Gabriel Jesus and John Stones didn’t even make the City bench for the Carabao Cup Final due to injuries, and this game may come too soon for them.
For West Ham, Fabian Balbuena remains a doubt despite returning to training. The Hammers can also look forward to Winston Reid and Jack Wilshere returning soon as they approach full fitness in the coming weeks.
The reverse fixture saw City run out 4-0 winners, with goals from David Sila, Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane. But as with Liverpool, City will also need to handle the pressure of chasing and knowing that the end of the season is slowly starting to come in to sight.