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Premier League: Manchester Ordeal for Moyes

Manchester City vs West Ham United

He didn’t have a great time as United head coach, so I don’t know if David Moyes has many happy memories of Manchester, but he somehow needs to create one this weekend.

There is a winter break, of sorts, in the Premier League, with half the teams putting their feet up this weekend, and those in action taking their break next weekend. Premier League: Manchester City vs West Ham is the Sunday afternoon entertainment and Moyes’ strugglers really need to grab something from their illustrious hosts.

The latest Manchester City vs West Ham predictions here at SBOTOP don’t give the Hammers a great deal of hope. Pep Guardiola’s side has had a couple of setbacks recently so they will be keen to put things right, and extend their lead over third-placed Leicester City to five points.

If the Hammers fail to take anything home from the Etihad, then they will end the fortnight in the relegation zone, with time starting to run out.

Oleksandr Zinchenko became the third Manchester City player to be sent off in the Premier League this season
                                          Referee Mike Dean shows a second yellow card to Manchester City’s Oleksandr Zinchenko

 

Talking Points

Sterling and Zinchenko out for City

The pre-match Manchester City vs West Ham news concerns two absentees for the Sky Blues, one through injury and the other through suspension. Raheem Sterling picked up a hamstring injury during last week’s defeat to Spurs, and he will be rested in the hope of recovering in time for City’s huge Champions League clash with Real Madrid at the end of February.

Guardiola has plenty of talent to choose from and young midfield star Phil Foden could be in line to make his third start of the season.

City will also be without influential wingback Oleksandr Zinchenko after he picked up a needless red card against Spurs. He seemed to have forgotten he was already on a yellow when he committed a tactical foul on the hour, which paved the way for Spurs to win. That will have infuriated Guardiola who watched his side totally dominate the majority of the game.

But how often has that happened this season?

Only last week, the Sky Blues had a hatful of chances in the second leg of the EFL semi-final, only to lose it 0-1 to Manchester United, though they went through on aggregate.

In fact City have scored just five goals in four games, and four of those were against Fulham in the FA Cup.

 

Is Moyes the man for the Hammers?

West Ham need all the encouragement they can get!

With just a single draw to show for the previous five games, the Hammers had a glorious chance to get a much-needed win last week when they led Brighton by 2-0 and then 3-1 in a six-pointer at the London Stadium.

But they couldn’t hold on and now find themselves in the bottom three. And Moyes’ side has a daunting fixture list coming up. After their date with the current champions, they meet runaway leaders Liverpool, in form Southampton, Arsenal, Wolves and Spurs in the next five games.

Moyes was brought in to rescue the Hammers, just as he did in 2018, but this looks like a really tough task. He’s brought in former Hammers skipper Kevin Nolan to bolster his coaching team. On this pitch, he’s looking for leadership from the ever-dependable Mark Noble, but he’s also put his faith in fellow Scot Robert Snodgrass who has five goals, including two against the Seagulls.

The West Ham chief moved in the January window to bring in attacking midfielder Jarred Bowen in the biggest signing of deadline day at £25m. The former Hull man thinks he’s joined a club which will still be in the top flight next season, saying: “You only have to look around the squad, the coaching staff and everyone to see that there is plenty of quality and Premier League experience. They know what it takes to stay in this division.”

 

History

City are leading the head to heads by 28 to ten in the Premier League era, and have won the last six encounters with West Ham, scoring 20 and conceding just three goals.

Raheem Sterling scored a hat-trick in the first game of the 2019/20 season in a 0-5 win at the London Stadium. While the Hammers recovered from that, recent form has dropped off and they haven’t registered a win in six games.

 

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