Competition: Premier League – Manchester City vs. West Ham United
Venue: Etihad Stadium – Saturday, September 19 – 17:30 BST (12:30 ET)
Match Odds: Manchester City 1/4 – Draw 9/2 – West Ham 9/1
City have won all five games so far, without conceding a goal, and look like the only side capable of winning the title, despite having only played a few games.
However, a midweek loss to Juventus in the Champions League brought them crashing back down to earth and Manuel Pellegrini needs to ensure they pick up three points against West Ham this weekend.
Manchester City’s 2015 record: P5 – W5 – D0 – L0
West Ham will travel to Manchester more confident than usual after a strangely impressive start to the new season.
Strange because they have picked up points where they would least expect, and lost those they shouldn’t have. Away wins at Arsenal and Liverpool mean City will need to be on their toes.
West Ham’s 2015 Premier League record: P5 – W3 – D0 – L2
The Hammers have had longer to prepare for this game, and that could have an impact as they look to follow up Monday’s 2-0 home win over Newcastle in fine style against the pace setters.
The last meeting at the Etihad between the two ended 2-0 to City back in April. It has now been 12 years since West Ham beat City away in the Premier League.
Manchester City still have concerns over Vincent Kompany and Sergio Aguero and both could miss out. Nicolas Otamendi should start in defence in what would be his debut, while Kevin De Bruyne will also hope to start for the first time in sky blue. Pablo Zabaleta, Gael Clichy, Fabian Delph and Fernando are also expected to miss out.
West Ham have injury concerns over several players. Enner Valencia still remains out, as do Mauro Zarate and Joey O’Brien, while Alex Song and Angelo Ogbonna is now out for three weeks. Nikica Jelavic is a doubt along with Pedro Obiang. Andy Carroll is back in contention and Adrian will return in goal after serving his three-game suspension.
Manchester City’s last five: W/W/W/W/W
West Ham’s last five: W/L/L/W/W
Key Stat: West Ham have not won away at Manchester City since 2003 – a run of eight losses and one draw have followed since.
Key Player: David Silva – The Spanish playmaker has looked back to his best so far this season and is almost unplayable when in the mood. Expect him to really test the West Ham midfield and defence on Saturday evening.
Manchester City 3-1 West Ham – Manchester City to continue their 100% record at the top of the Premier League, though West Ham can expect to become the first side to score against them this season in the absence of Vincent Kompany. West Ham’s incredible away wins against Arsenal and Liverpool mean they can’t be overlooked too much though.