Manchester City are aiming to put significant daylight between them and third placed Leicester City when they welcome West Ham on Sunday afternoon.
Pep Guardiola is resigned to defeat in the title race, as his side are 22 points adrift from a Liverpool side who would have to have the biggest capitulation in Premier League history to not win the league from this point onwards.
Regardless of Liverpool’s scintillating form, City have been nowhere near the best throughout the campaign, succumbing to defeat six times already. To put that into perspective, Manchester City only lost four games in the entirety of last season.
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They take on a West Ham side who have one win in their last six games. That sole victory came in David Moyes first game in charge in his second spell in the dugout, a 4-0 home win over Bournemouth.
Since then, West Ham have been disastrous; losing three and drawing two. The morale around the Olympic Stadium is reaching boiling point that has eery shades of when tensions overflowed at the stadium back in 2018.
Moyes is of course not solely to blame for this, with most Hammers fans directing their anger at those above him. The board, Gold & Sullivan in particular, are the least popular figures in East London at the moment, an away trip may actually be needed to allow things to calm down.
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With that being said, away trips rarely come more difficult than to the home of the reigning champions. Manchester City’s home form has been slightly worse than their away showings, yet Guardiola’s side have still only tasted defeat twice at The Etihad.
West Ham will not have fond memories of the last league meeting between the pair, The a Hammers were on the wrong end of an opening day battering. City put five past them with no reply, Raheem Sterling notching a hat-trick.
Raheem Sterling is a doubt to feature, much to the relief of West Ham fans. Oleksandr Zinchenko is also unavailable after he received his marching orders from Mike Dean in last week’s 2-0 defeat at Tottenham.
Aymeric Laporte has barely appeared at all this season after picking up a long-term knee injury in August. He may be called into action on Sunday, after he sat out last Sunday’s defeat.
Jack Wilshire’s Arsenal injury woes have followed him to West Ham, the midfielder has struggled to get a successive run of games since joining the Hammers and looks set to miss out again against Man City.
Felipe Anderson and Andriy Yarmolenko are also both out of action.
One cause of optimism for the away fans is the potential first sighting of newest recruit Jarrod Bowen. Ineligible for selection last week after his deadline day signing, he is now fit and available for selection.