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Feb 19, 2020 at 7.30pm UK
Man CityManchester City
2-0
West HamWest Ham United
Rodri (30'), De Bruyne (62')
FT(HT: 1-0)
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Preview: Manchester City vs. West Ham United - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Manchester City vs. West Ham United - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole provides team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of Sunday's Premier League fixture between Manchester City and West Ham United.

Manchester City head into Sunday's Premier League fixture with West Ham United looking to extend their advantage over third-placed Leicester City to five points.

Meanwhile, West Ham make the daunting trip to the Etihad Stadium requiring at least a point to move outside of the relegation zone.


Match preview

With Man City sitting 22 points adrift of leaders Liverpool, Pep Guardiola has been the first to acknowledge that his side are not active in the title race, effectively bringing to an end their two-year reign with three months of the season remaining.

Nevertheless, City's recent setbacks, in theory, will only provide extra motivation for Guardiola as he attempts to win silverware in other competitions and begin to contemplate ways to improve his squad in the summer.

Strengthening a defence which has missed Aymeric Laporte for the majority of the season will be at the top of his list of priorities, rather than having concerns over a misfiring attack.

While City thrashed a Fulham side who were hindered by a sixth-minute dismissal, they have netted just three times in their other four matches, which includes drawing a blank against Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.

However, on another day, the likes of Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling could have netted at least two goals apiece, instead of squandering opportunities which kept their respective opponents in the contest.

Sterling will miss out at the weekend through injury - likely a consequence of being involved in 40 matches for club and country since the beginning of August.

That said, his absence provides Guardiola with a chance to rid himself of an over-reliance on the winger, potentially providing Phil Foden with a pathway to make just his third Premier League start of the season.

If the young Englishman is to replace the departing David Silva next season, matches such as this one are perfect opportunities for Guardiola to hand the academy graduate further experience in the top flight.

Despite City being able to play with a certain degree of freedom at the weekend, the same cannot be said of West Ham, who travel to the Etihad desperately short of confidence.

For the majority of their contest with Brighton & Hove Albion last weekend, it appeared that David Moyes was going to see his side end a five-match winless streak in all competitions.

However, conceding two late goals resulted in the game ending in a 3-3 draw, leaving Moyes torn as to how to approach a game of this level after dropping into the bottom three.

In their recent games with Leicester City and Liverpool, Moyes has struggled to find the correct balance, with a significant change in strategy being required at the midway point of the first of those fixtures.

The Scot will probably feel that there is enough quality in his attack to score goals against a struggling City backline, although the newly-appointed boss may be lacking faith in his own defenders to put up enough of a fight at the other end.

The sole plus point from last week's game was Robert Snodgrass contributing two goals and an assist, extending his tally to five and four in those respective categories for the campaign.

While there have been several big-name arrivals over the last 18 months, the 32-year-old has emerged as West Ham's most creative player this season, effectively making him the most important attacker in the squad.

However, with trips to City, Liverpool and Arsenal all to come in their next four games, there is the possibility of Snodgrass being left powerless to prevent West Ham from being cut adrift in the battle to avoid relegation to the Championship.

Manchester City Premier League form: WWWDWL
Manchester City form (all competitions): WDWWLL

West Ham United Premier League form: WLDLLD
West Ham United form (all competitions): LDLLLD


Team News

After missing a number of games due to muscle fatigue, Laporte is expected to return to the centre of the City defence, potentially in place of Nicolas Otamendi.

With Oleksandr Zinchenko serving a one-match ban, Benjamin Mendy should line up at left-back, while Foden may replace Ilkay Gundogan in central midfield.

As a result of Sterling's hamstring injury, Bernardo Silva and Riyad Mahrez could be given responsibility on the flanks.

Moyes will be able to call upon new signing Jarrod Bowen for this contest, although it would come as a surprise if the winger featured in the first XI.

After mistakes were made in defence last weekend, one of Issa Diop or Angelo Ogbonna could drop down to the substitutes' bench.

Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Walker, Fernandinho, Laporte, Mendy; De Bruyne, Rodri, Foden; Bernardo, Aguero, Mahrez

West Ham United possible starting lineup:
Fabianski; Fredericks, Diop, Balbuena, Cresswell; Soucek, Rice, Noble; Snodgrass, Antonio, Haller


Head To Head

Sunday's encounter will represent the 111th competitive meeting between the two sides, with City registering 56 wins in comparison to 37 victories for West Ham.

Despite giving good accounts of themselves at the Etihad in recent years, West Ham have lost their last eight games against City, a run stretching back to the start of 2016.

Their last success came in September of the previous year as Victor Moses and Diafra Sakho helped the Hammers to a 2-1 triumph in the North-West.


We say: Manchester City 4-1 West Ham United

While West Ham have troubled City in front of their own supporters in the past, we are predicting one-way traffic this weekend. Guardiola will expect a positive response from his team, and they could deliver with a relentless attacking performance.


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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool29271166214582
2Manchester CityMan City28183768313757
3Leicester CityLeicester29165858283053
4Chelsea29146951391248
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd29129844301445
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves29101364134743
7Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd28111073025543
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs29118104740741
9Arsenal2891364036440
10Burnley29116123440-639
11Crystal Palace29109102632-639
12Everton29107123746-937
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2998122541-1635
14Southampton29104153552-1734
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton29611123240-829
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham2976163550-1527
17Watford2969142744-1727
18Bournemouth2976162947-1827
19Aston Villa2874173456-2225
20Norwich CityNorwich2956182552-2721
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool29271166214582
2Manchester CityMan City28183768313757
3Leicester CityLeicester29165858283053
4Chelsea29146951391248
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd29129844301445
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves29101364134743
7Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd28111073025543
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs29118104740741
9Arsenal2891364036440
10Burnley29116123440-639
11Crystal Palace29109102632-639
12Everton29107123746-937
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2998122541-1635
14Southampton29104153552-1734
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton29611123240-829
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham2976163550-1527
17Watford2969142744-1727
18Bournemouth2976162947-1827
19Aston Villa2874173456-2225
20Norwich CityNorwich2956182552-2721
Scroll for more - Tap for full version
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