September 27, 2019 | News | No Comments
Back to playing catch up in the Premier League standings, Pep Guardiola will want the win to keep the pressure on leaders Liverpool
Manchester City play host to West Ham at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday, with regaining top spot in the Premier League their immediate target.
Pep Guardiola’s men picked up silverware at the weekend as they defeated Chelsea on penalties in a match that will be best remembered for Blues keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga refusing to be replaced before the shootout.
They had gone into Sunday leading the league, but Liverpool’s 0-0 draw with Manchester United saw them fall a point behind the Reds.
West Ham, meanwhile, had cemented their position in the heart of the standings two days earlier with a 3-1 win over Fulham and will seek to keep their momentum going, despite the monumental task that lies ahead.
|Game||Manchester City vs West Ham|
|Date||Wednesday, February 27|
|Time||8:00pm GMT / 3:00pm ET|
In the United States (US), the game can be streamed via NBC Sports Gold.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|N/A||NBC Sports Gold|
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will not be shown on television or streamed.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|Position||Man City players|
|Goalkeepers||Ederson, Grimshaw, Muric|
|Defenders||Walker, Danilo, Laporte, Otamendi, Sandler, Zinchenko, Kompany, Mendy|
|Midfielders||Sterling, Gundogan, De Bruyne, Sane, B. Silva, D. Silva, Fernandinho, Mahrez, Foden|
Manchester City lost Aymeric Laporte and Fernandinho to injuries at the weekend, with both set to miss out for several weeks.
Claudio Bravo, John Stones and Gabriel Jesus are all still laid up, although Benjamin Mendy is training again and could play some role.
Man City starting XI: Ederson, Danilo, Kompany, Otamendi, Zinchenko, Gundogan, Silva, Mahrez, De Bruyne, Sane, Aguero
|Position||West Ham players|
|Defenders||Zabaleta, Cresswell, Diop, Masuaku, Ogbonna, Balbeuna, Fredericks|
|Midfielders||Snodgrass, Noble, Rice, Felipe Anderson, Obiang, Powell, Holland, Lanzini, Nasri|
|Forwards||Antonio, Arnautovic, Carroll, Diangana, Perez, Chicharito|
West Ham have been troubled by long-term injury problems all season and that trend continues, although there is light at the end of the tunnel for Fabian Balbuena, who is training again.
Winston Reid, Carlos Sanchez, Jack Wilshere and Andriy Yarmolenko are all sidelined.
West Ham starting XI: Fabianski, Fredericks, Diop, Ogbonna, Johnson, Obiang, Rice, Nasri, Antonio, Anderson, Arnautovic
Manchester City are 1/6 favourites with Bet365 . A draw can be backed at 8/1, while a West Ham victory is available at 18/1.
Click here to see all of bet 365’s offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more.
Manchester City might have picked up the first silverware of the domestic season, but they have their eyes firmly set on greater goals than the Carabao Cup, which they claimed with a penalty shootout victory over Chelsea.
Indeed, they are currently chasing four titles, with Kevin De Bruyne of the belief that if Pep Guardiola’s men can complete a clean sweep they will become “the best team ever”.
“We want to win as much as possible but not to think about the quadruple. If we win three and then play the Champions League final then maybe we can talk about it. Before that, no way!” the Belgian told Sky Sports .
De Bruyne did admit that he feels the challenge is “almost impossible” and certainly there is little scope for error with City now playing catch up in the league as they trail Liverpool by a point.
Guardiola, meanwhile, wants full commitment from his players .
“I don’t want to see excuses from my players about tiredness or the amount of games, that is nothing when you have to fight until the end to the retain the title,” he explained.
“The power and energy to achieve that is higher than any excuses you can find.
“The last few months of the season, the mentality makes the difference.
“I want to smell in the locker room, at the beginning of the game and during the game, if we really want to win this title.”
Manuel Pellegrini, who guided City to their second Premier League title, returns to the Etihad for the first time since leaving in 2016 aiming to put a spanner in their works at the helm of West Ham.
“He did an incredible job,” Guardiola said . “The league he won was outstanding, the number of goals, the way they played. He had a good team and they did well.”
Pellegrini, meanwhile, does not forecast his former club being significantly weakened following their marathon against Chelsea on Sunday.
“I don’t think they will be weaker than normal on Wednesday,” he said.
“Playing 120 minutes of course is a lot, a long game, but they have a strong squad, they can make the changes that they want and continue to have the best squad in the Premier League.”
With the Hammers looking up the table after a three-match undefeated run, there will be no room for sentiment on the part of the Argentine.
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