Manchester City vs West Ham United
Etihad Stadium, Manchester
Wednesday, 18-02-2020 @10:30pm
Ref: Kevin Friend
Man City are currently in a deep hole after they were banned from taking part in European competitions for two years.
The Citizens were found guilty of breaching the Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules in the past. They are set to appeal the decision but as of now, there heads can not be in a good place with almost all their players and technical staff linked with exits at the end of the season.
Manchester City defenders Aymeric Laporte, Benjamin Mendy and John Stones could all return on Wednesday night. Raheem Sterling suffered a hamstring injury against Tottenham and is unlikely to be risked, while Oleksandr Zinchenko is suspended.
West Ham’s Felipe Anderson is in contention to play after missing five games because of rib and back injuries. January signing Jarrod Bowen could make his debut, but this match will come too early for Andriy Yarmolenko.
Manchester City are on a seven-match winning streak in this league fixture, scoring 23 goals and conceding just three. West Ham have won only two of their 18 Premier League away games against City: 1-0 at Maine Road in April 2003 and 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium in September 2015. The Hammers’ 5-0 loss at home to City on the opening day of the season remains their biggest defeat so far this season.
A third successive competitive defeat would equal their longest losing streak under Pep Guardiola, set in April 2018. City could fail to score in three successive matches in all competitions for the first time since March 2016 under Manuel Pellegrini. Manchester City have lost six league games in 2019-20. Guardiola has never suffered more top-flight defeats in a season. The reigning league champions have already dropped 24 points this season. They only dropped a combined 30 points in the previous two seasons. Guardiola has won all eight of his meetings against West Ham in all competitions. Sergio Aguero has scored City’s past five Premier League goals – no player has ever registered six in a row for the club. Raheem Sterling has been involved in 11 league goals in seven appearances against West Ham since the start of the 2016-17 season, including scoring a hat-trick in the reverse fixture in August.
West Ham are winless in five league matches (D2, L3). The Hammers have the worst form in the division over the past eight fixtures (W1, D2, L5). They’ve lost four of their past five Premier League away games. Only Norwich have scored fewer than West Ham’s 10 away goals in the top flight this season. West Ham have dropped a league-high 19 points from winning positions this season, failing to win eight of the 14 games in which they scored first this season. David Moyes has lost five of his six fixtures as a manager versus Pep Guardiola, only avoiding defeat in Manchester United’s 1-1 home draw against Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-final first leg in April 2014. Sebastien Haller scored three goals in his first three Premier League appearances but has only managed three more in the subsequent 21.