Premier League Preview and Prediction: Manchester City vs West Ham

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

Match Preview

Manchester City host West Ham in this weekend’s Saturday evening game in the Premier League, with both sides looking to continue fine starts to the new season.

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

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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

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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.

Team News

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.

Key Points

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.

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Score Prediction

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.

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Premier League Preview and Prediction: Manchester City vs West Ham

Competition: Premier League – Manchester City vs. West Ham United

Venue: Etihad Stadium – Sunday, April 19th – 13:30 BST (08:30 ET)

Match Odds: Manchester City 1/4 – Draw 9/2 – West Ham 11/1

Match Preview

Manchester City host West Ham on Sunday afternoon with the home side desperate to get back to winning ways after a disappointing run in the Premier League has all but ended their title hopes.

City have lost four of their last six in the league now and last weekend’s 4-2 defeat to rivals Manchester United saw them lose back-to-back league games for the first time since October 2010.

They have won their last three at home though and will expect to beat a West Ham side struggling for any sort of form themselves.

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The Hammers have won just one of their last ten in the league and haven’t won away from home in the top flight in 2015.

A trip to Manchester to take on the reigning champions probably won’t improve things for Sam Allardyce’s men, though a win would lift spirits around the club as we approach the end of the season.

Allardyce and Manuel Pellegrini are both under intense pressure at the moment as both look likely to depart this summer and so this game could have serious implications for one of them.

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City sit in fourth, just four points above Liverpool going into the weekend and need a win to stay on track for Champions League qualification – an objective many expected to be a formality.

This is West Ham’s final game against a side in the top half of the table but they have not beaten any team in the top ten away from home this year.

They did beat City at home in the reverse fixture 2-1 back in October though and will take confidence from that result going into this one.

Team News

Manchester City could be without four men for the game as Wilfried Bony (ankle), Stevan Jovetic (muscular), Dedryck Boyata (muscular) and Vincent Kompany (thigh) are all struggling with injuries. Kompany was substituted with his problem last weekend and is doubtful to return for this one. Samir Nasri could return to the side, while Frank Lampard will be looking to start against his former club.

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West Ham look short of attacking options heading into the game as Andy Carroll (knee) and Diafra Sakho (thigh) are both out, and Enner Valencia is a doubt after picking up a knock to his ankle last weekend. James Tomkins is also out with a dislocated shoulder injury but is hoping to return before the end of the season.

Key Points

Manchester City’s last five: W/L/W/L/L

West Ham’s last five: L/L/W/L/D

Key Stat: West Ham have not beaten City away in a league game since April 2003 – a stretch of 12 years.

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Key Player: David Silva – The Spanish playmaker has put in consistently good performances this season despite City’s struggles and will look to provide the spark his team desperately need in this one.

Score Prediction

Manchester City 2-1 West Ham United – City to get back to winning ways with a hard-fought victory against the Hammers. West Ham have already lost away at the other four sides in the top five and things don’t look likely to improve in this one.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Crystal Palace vs Manchester City

Competition: Premier League – Crystal Palace vs. Manchester City

Venue: Selhurst Park – Monday, April 6th – 20:00 BST (15:00 EDT)

Match Odds: Crystal Palace 4/1 – Draw 14/5 – Man City 4/6

Match Preview

Crystal Palace will host title chasing Manchester City in this week’s Premier League Monday night fixture in a game that should live up to its billing.

Palace go into the game after back-to-back wins against QPR and Stoke in recent weeks, and so they will be confident of grabbing a result against the reigning champions.

They have had issues at home recently however, only winning one of their last five at Selhurst Park in all competitions.

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Since Alan Pardew took over at Palace they have looked a more threatening side and an upset is not out of the question. The Eagles have picked up more points than City in 2015, adding further credit to the fine job Pardew is doing in South London.

Crystal Palace’s home record in the Premier League: P14 – W4 – D3 – L7

Manchester City desperately need a win in this one as they look to prolong the title race for at least another week. Chelsea could be a staggering nine points clear by the time City kick off on Monday night, with a game in hand.

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City won the reverse fixture 3-0 at the Etihad in December. But you have to say Palace look a much better team than the one that took to the field on that occasion. The home crowd will look to play a part and City have lost their last two on the road so this is perfectly poised.

Manchester City’s away record in the Premier League: P15 – W8 – D4 – L3

It has been a disappointing season for the champions, and a loss on Monday night would all but guarantee Chelsea the title.

But then again, if City play like they are capable of, this could be very one-sided and Manuel Pellegrini will be desperate to see a positive performance from his players.

Team News

Crystal Palace will be without Jerome Thomas, Frazier Campbell and Marouane Chamakh, who are all sidelined through injury. Mile Jedinak is suspended, while Joe Ledley and Jordan Mutch are both doubts but should make the squad.

Manchester City face concerns over Yaya Toure and James Milner, who are both doubts but should be available for selection. Toure should start alongside Fernando in midfielder, while Wilfried Bony is expected to continue to partner Sergio Aguero up front.

Key Points

Crystal Palace’s last five: L/W/L/W/W

Manchester City’s last five: W/L/W/L/W

Key Stat: Crystal Palace haven’t beaten Manchester City at home in the Premier League since April 1995 and will be looking to end a 20-year wait on Monday night.

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Key Player: David Silva – The Spaniard is always at the heart of everything City do going forward and makes them tick. Expect him to be influential in the final third.

Score Prediction

Crystal Palace 1-2 Manchester City – City cannot afford to drop points here as they continue to fight for the title. They should edge it, taking their run of victories over Palace to eight in a row in all competitions.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Manchester City vs West Brom

Competition: Premier League – Manchester City vs West Bromwich Albion

Venue: Etihad Stadium – Saturday, March 21 – 12:45 GMT (08:45 ET)

Match Odds: Manchester City 2/7 – Draw 9/2 – West Brom 9/1

Match Preview

Manchester City welcome West Brom to the Etihad stadium on Saturday lunchtime in a must win game for the Premier League reigning champions.

Man City’s hopes of retaining their title are rapidly fading after they were dealt another major blow by losing 1-0 to Burnley at Turf Moor last Saturday and are now six points behind leaders Chelsea who also have a game in hand.

West Brom returned to winning ways with a 1-0 win at home to Stoke last weekend thanks to a goal from in-form striker Brown Ideye and they look set to comfortably secure their Premier League status for the sixth consecutive season.

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Manuel Pellegrini needs to make sure his City side don’t suffer a hangover from their midweek defeat to Barcelona at the Nou Camp which saw them eliminated from the Champions League and has made their preparation time for this game very short.

The Citizens have recorded just three wins in their last nine games (D3, L3) which has seen them drop way off the pace at the top of the table and also allowed the chasing pack to get within touching distance.

Failure to win for City could potentially see them slip down to third place in the league and a defeat may also see them fall as far as fourth depending on Arsenal and Manchester United’s results, so it’s imperative they get a victory, not only for their title hopes but also for the Champions League qualification fight.

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Tony Pulis‘ West Brom side have only lost two of their last ten in the league (W4, D4), so they certainly pose a threat and may smell blood after City’s inconsistent recent form.

Having said that, two wins from 14 on the road this season doesn’t make for pretty reading for the Baggies and their last win away at Man City was a 2-1 success back in February 2003.

West Brom are eight points above the drop zone with nine games remaining, so two or three more wins would almost guarantee their safety.

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The reverse fixture at The Hawthorns on Boxing Day ended in a 3-1 win for Man City who will be desperately hoping for a repeat result.

Team News

Man City have no known injuries or suspensions to report and will hope that the likes of Yaya Toure, David Silva and Sergio Aguero can find their form.

West Brom will be without goalkeeper Ben Foster after he picked up a knee injury in the game against Stoke. Chris Brunt and Claudio Yacob will also miss the game through suspension. Victor Anichebe could return to the squad following a groin injury, while Brown Ideye will hope to recover from a knock he picked up last weekend. Callum McManaman is suffering with a foot injury and is a doubt.

Key Points

Manchester City’s last five in the Premier League: W/W/L/W/L

West Brom’s last five in the Premier League: W/D/W/L/W

Key Stat: West Brom have never won at the Etihad Stadium (P7, D2, L5).

Key Player: David Silva – The Spanish midfield maestro is instrumental and if opponents stifle him, then City tend to struggle. If Silva can find time and space to pull the strings then Man City will be confident of victory.

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Score Prediction

Manchester City 1-0 West Bromwich Albion – City know they aren’t performing to the best of their ability at the moment and they will need to grind out a result against a well organised West Brom side.

How important is James Milner to Manchester City?

There has been much talk of whether or not James Milner will get a new Manchester City contract and Lewis Addley explores his importance to the side…

James Milner has been enjoying some of the best form of his career and certainly his best performances for Manchester City in recent times.

Milner has featured 22 times in the Premier League so far this season and as well as scoring the important equalising goal against Hull City two weeks ago, he also netted in the 4-1 win at Stoke. He now has five goals in all competitions, including one in the Champions League.

His contract is due to expire at the end of this season and it isn’t clear yet whether or not it will be renewed, though Manuel Pellegrini has been quick to praise the 29-year-old midfielder already this season.

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“James is a very important player for our team. Knowing the way he thinks we will see the same Milner with a contract or without a contract. He is a great professional,” the City boss said.

The former Aston Villa and Newcastle man is a doubt for Manchester City’s game against the Magpies this weekend as well as their Champions League tie against Barcelona next Tuesday, and he will be missed in both of those games.

Milner is a tremendous utility player and can play as a right-back as well as numerous midfield positions. He can comfortably play on either wing, or even as the playmaker in behind the striker as he did so effectively at Stoke in the Citizens’ last game.

Milner covered more ground than any other player this season during that game as he ran an incredible 13.56km over the course of 90 minutes, deservedly picking up a goal and an assist for his efforts.

Numerous Premier League clubs would be interested in signing James Milner if he is to leave City in the summer and it would be a loss to the reigning champions as he is one of their most effective midfielders.

James Milner's Premier League stats compared to Manchester City's other attacking midfielders (stats via Squawka)

James Milner’s Premier League stats compared to Manchester City’s other attacking midfielders (stats via Squawka)

Pellegrini has opted to play Milner in a number of big games already this season and needs the England international back to fitness as they face the difficult task of clawing back the difference in the race for the title.

Milner will be required even more so next season as City will lose Frank Lampard this summer as he is set to make his MLS move to New York City FC in July, when his contract expires.

The performances of Milner have certainly shown his desire to earn a new contract and he has a lot to offer the City side. His tenacity and desire to work hard for his team makes Milner one of the most unsung heroes in this Manchester City side and they would likely struggle without him.

Is Milner too important for Manchester City to lose this summer?