West Ham host Man City at the London Stadium on Sunday. The visitors are in sensational league form and have won 14 of their last 17 on their travels. One victory could seal the title for Pep Guardiola’s team whilst four points from two matches guarantees they retain the league crown. West Ham have stuttered badly of late but followed four successive losses with a 4-0 thrashing of Norwich last time out to boost confidence.
West Ham Form
With their Europa League run, West Ham have found themselves stretched and league results have suffered. Before their last match – a 4-0 win at already relegation Norwich City – they had lost eight of their previous 14 games in all competitions. They had been beaten four times in six matches in the league during that streak.
A fine 3-0 win at Lyon saw them reach the Europa League semi-finals. They was followed by a 1-1 home draw with Burnley and a 1-0 last-minute loss at Chelsea. The Hammers then lost home (1-2) and away (0-1) to Eintracht Frankfurt, either side of a 2-1 loss at Arsenal. The Norwich victory came last time out, ending a six-match winless run on the road.
West Ham Team News
The Hammers saw three players go off injured with knocks in the win at Norwich. Michail Antonio was replaced a half-time and both Craig Dawson and Said Benrahma also had to go off. At least a couple of those will be fit to return having had the week to recover. Angelo Ogbonna is still out long-term so Issa Diop would cover if Dawson doesn’t make it.
The rest of the squad is fit and available. Tomas Soucek was an unused substitute against Norwich with Manuel Lanzini used deeper but he should return to the XI. If Antonio doesn’t make it, then Jarod Bowen would play down the middle.
West Ham Motivation
The Hammers can’t finish lower than seventh and the highest they can end up is sixth if they win a match and Man Utd lose their final fixture. The side has looked a little complacent of late as fatigue has set in and the Europa League took the focus.
In this match, they would take a point and are expected to sit back and look to hit their speedy front players on the counterattack. They won’t park the bus, though, and a relatively open match should be seen.
Man City Form
City are in superb away form. Their last 17 away fixtures in the league have brought 14 wins. Across all competitions, it’s just two defeats in 30 matches. Those losses came in the FA Cup semi-final (3-2 vs Liverpool) and UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg (3-1 away to Real Madrid), denying the side a shot at the treble.
They have been very good in the league of late. City won 4-0 at Leeds and 5-0 at home against Newcastle to massively improve their goal difference. In midweek, they went to Wolves and won 5-1 as Kevin de Bruyne scored four goals.
Man City News
City have a defensive crisis. John Stones, Kyle Walker, and Ruben Dias were already ruled out for the season by Pep Guardiola. In the last match, Aymeric Laporte took a knock to the knee and is doubtful whilst the coach says that Fernandinho has a muscle problem. If Laporte recovers, he will partner Nathan Ake (himself not fully fit), otherwise, Rodri could drop into the backline.
The attack could see Riyad Mahrez or Jack Grealish coming in to start to keep things fresh. Gabriel Jesus will also hope to start having been given no minutes in the win at Wolves.
Man City Motivation
City will be very motivated, knowing that four points from their last two matches will seal the title. They will play to win this match and give themselves the task of only needing a draw on the final day. With their goal difference, even a win here and one defeat may be enough.
They will look to play on the front foot but the injuries in defence mean there may be a little more focus on safe possession and an extra player being kept back to protect the back four.
West Ham have lost 1 of their last 7 home PL matches (W4, D2)
West Ham have lost 9 of their last 16 matches (all comps)
WHU have just 1 clean sheet in 9 PL matches
City have won 21 of their last 25 PL matches (L1, D3)
Man City have kept 5 away clean sheets in 6 matches
City have lost 2 of their last 30 matches (all comps)
City have won 14 of their last 17 away PL matches
This won’t be an easy match for City. They should have enough to win but their makeshift defence could leak at least one goal. This match should see both teams scoring and plenty of goals to enjoy.
Best Bet: Both teams to score at 1.76
Value Bet: Man City win and over 2.5 goals at 1.90
Multiplier Leg: Man City win/draw double chance and over 2.5 goals at 1.74
Value Bet: Man City win and De Bruyne to score anytime at 2.27