West Ham are undefeated in each of the last two home games against City, while Pep Guardiola’s team are without several key players. As such, it might be worth backing the Hammers to pull off a shock win at 5.69*.
Man City (1.645*) lost Fernandinho to suspension during their 2-1 victory over Burnley on Monday, leaving them with a big gap in central midfield, with both Ilkay Gundogan and Fabian Delph remaining side-lined with injuries.
The Hammers are undefeated in each of the last two home games against City, while Guardiola’s team is without several key players.
West Ham’s very narrow and compact defensive shape should make them difficult to break down and without their most important box-to-box midfielder City will struggle to break the deadlock. This hands the hosts an unlikely advantage.
The Hammers finished first in the Premier League top eight mini-league last season and almost reached the FA Cup semi-final (losing to Manchester United in a replay), but in 2016/17 they have struggled to repeat last season’s battling under-dog spirit.
This could largely be due to the fact that their transition to the London Stadium has been so tough. They have only won seven home matches in all competitions since the switch and six of these have been by a single goal margin. The loss of Andre Ayew and Cheickhou Kouyate to the Africa Cup of Nations makes it unlikely they will score many this weekend.
However, this is a big opportunity to restore some pride and their recent flurry of league wins should put them in good spirits for this tie. Man City have lost two of their last three away games, and judging by Guardiola’s shirty press conference after the match against Burnley, they are slightly fragile at the moment.
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*Odds subject to change