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Premier League | Gameweek 38
May 19, 2024 at 4pm UK
Etihad Stadium

Man City
3 - 1
West Ham

Foden (2', 18'), Rodri (59')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Kudus (42')
Alvarez (75')

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 previews Sunday's Premier League clash between Manchester City and West Ham United, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

For just the third time in the last 11 years, the Premier League title race will be decided on the final day, with reigning champions Manchester City looking to retain their crown at home against West Ham United on Sunday afternoon.

Pep Guardiola's men are just 90 minutes away from a slice of English football history, but the Hammers will endeavour to spoil their Etihad party in a contest that will mark David Moyes's swansong.

Match preview

Thanks to an impressive 22-game unbeaten league run, including 18 victories and just four draws over the past five months, the stage is set for Man City to etch their name into the history books and achieve something no English team has ever done before.

Heading down the home straight, the Citizens have put together one of their inevitable trademark winning streaks, which was extended to eight games on Tuesday when they secured a crucial 2-0 victory at Tottenham Hotspur. Golden Boot-chasing Erling Haaland scored twice in the second half, but it was substitute goalkeeper Stefan Ortega who was the unlikely hero, as he made some key saves in the closing stages to keep the title race in City's hands.

Despite the best efforts of title challengers Arsenal, who have dropped just four points in their 17 league games of 2024, Man City sit pretty at the top of the table with 88 points, two clear of the second-placed Gunners who welcome Everton to the Emirates Stadium for their final fixture.

Man City have been the dominant force at the summit of English football for some time, having won five of the last six Premier League titles including each of the last three. The masterplan of the Oasis-supported Citizens has been in place ever since the arrival of Pep Guardiola, who takes his team into Sunday's clash with West Ham knowing that victory will see them crowned English top-flight champions for an unprecedented fourth season in a row; otherwise, they just need to match Arsenal's result to clinch top spot.

If Man City wish to ease any potential pre-match nerves, then they should remember the fact that they are unbeaten in each of their last 43 home games in all competitions - a club record - while they have not lost any of their last 16 league meetings with West Ham. History also favours the Citizens, as the team sitting top entering the final day has ended up lifting the trophy on each occasion.

While City fans must wait until after 4pm on Sunday to officially begin the title celebrations, the home crowd have already had one reason to cheer this week, as the distinguished Guardiola has confirmed that he intends to stay on for at least one more season.

Almost a year on from finishing 14th in the Premier League before going on to celebrate Europa Conference League glory, West Ham are guaranteed to finish ninth in the top flight this season and will subsequently miss out on European qualification.

The Hammers won only four of their first 23 games of 2024 in all competitions prior to last weekend's home meeting with Luton Town, and a third defeat in four seemed on the cards when Albert Sambi Lokonga put the Hatters into a half-time lead. However, James Ward-Prowse, Tomas Soucek and youngster George Earthy were all on target after the break to secure a 3-1 comeback win and give manager David Moyes a fitting send-off at the London Stadium.

Moyes's four-year reign in his second stint as West Ham boss will come to an end on Sunday, and although he is keen to finish on a high and claim his first-ever victory as a manager at the Etihad, the Scotsman is under no illusions of the size of the task at hand against Man City, and has even joked that "it would be difficult to stop their Under-14s winning the title."

The 61-year-old has had his fair share of managerial success against Man City over the years, though, which bodes well for West Ham - and also Arsenal - as he has only ever won more games against Fulham (20) than he has versus the Citizens (15) in all competitions.

As for the Hammers, they have lost 15 of their 17 top-flight visits to the Etihad - the only exceptions being a 1-1 draw in January 2008 and a 2-1 win in September 2015 - while they have conceded at least one goal in all 17 Premier League away meetings with Man City; only Spurs have played more games at a specific venue in the division without ever keeping a clean sheet (18 at the Emirates Stadium).

Manchester City Premier League form:

Manchester City form (all competitions):

West Ham United Premier League form:

West Ham United form (all competitions):

Team News

Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson is ruled out for the rest of the season with a fractured eye socket sustained in midweek, while playmaker Kevin De Bruyne should be fit to play despite sustaining a knock to his Achilles against Spurs.

Ortega is set to deputise between the sticks in the absence of Ederson, while a back four of Kyle Walker, Manuel Akanji, Ruben Dias and Josko Gvardiol could remain intact, although both Nathan Ake and John Stones are ready to be called upon if required.

Guardiola is unlikely to make too many changes, if any, to his midfield or attack, but if De Bruyne is not deemed fit to start, then either Jeremy Doku or Jack Grealish could return to the first XI, with star man Phil Foden moving into a number 10 role in behind 27-goal striker Haaland.

Foden was recently bestowed with the Premier League's Player of the Season prize in addition to the FWA Footballer of the Year honour, and the 23-year-old's tally for the top-flight season reads 17 goals and eight assists before kickoff.

As for West Ham, centre-back duo Nayef Aguerd (ankle), Konstantinos Mavropanos (knock) are both set to be assessed ahead of kickoff, while Man City loanee Kalvin Phillips in ineligible, but is nursing a calf strain anyway.

Edson Alvarez will be pushing for a recall in centre-midfield, but his potential inclusion would likely see either Soucek or Ward-Prowse, who both scored last time out, make way - the latter was on the scoresheet for the Hammers in a 3-1 defeat to Man City in the reverse fixture back in September.

Jarrod Bowen will be hoping to add to his team-high 16 Premier League goals, and he is set to be joined in attack by Mohammed Kudus, Michail Antonio and Man City-linked Lucas Paqueta.

Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Ortega; Walker, Akanji, Dias, Gvardiol; Rodri, Kovacic; Bernardo, De Bruyne, Foden; Haaland

West Ham United possible starting lineup:
Areola; Coufal, Zouma, Ogbonna, Emerson; Soucek, Alvarez; Bowen, Kudus, Paqueta; Antonio

We say: Manchester City 4-1 West Ham United

Considering the relentless nature of Man City's performances since the turn of the year, particularly in the last few weeks, it is difficult to back against them claiming all three points on Sunday. The Citizens are known to make life difficult for themselves, though, and West Ham cannot be written off entirely.

Indeed, the Hammers pose a threat on the counter-attack with the likes of Bowen and Kudus, but their defensive record has been woeful to say the least, keeping just one clean sheet in their last 23 games. In front of a fired-up Etihad crowd, Man City should have the quality to outscore their opponents en route to securing another Premier League title.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Premier League Table
CManchester CityMan City38287396346291
4Aston Villa382081076611568
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs382061274611366
7Newcastle UnitedNewcastle381861485622360
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd38186145758-160
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham381410146074-1452
10Crystal Palace381310155758-149
11Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton381212145562-748
14Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38137185065-1546
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest3899204967-1832
RLuton TownLuton3868245285-3326
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd38372835104-6916
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