WILL DYER (@w2Dyer) takes the reigns for the final Premier League fixture of the weekend. Here he previews Manchester City’s match against Slaven Bilic’s dejected West Ham.
Manchester City v West Ham | Sunday 16:00 | Sky Sports 1
These two sides were both accused of being passengers in their respective midweek European matches. Manchester City had a good enough excuse being 5-0 up on aggregate from the first leg but the lazy performance still irked Pep Guardiola.
West Ham on the other hand were utterly shambolic against a club who’ve started their Romanian Liga I season very poorly, lost key players and had no manager for the game due to him being banned for betting offences.
Confidence must be low in the squad after their exit from European football at the hands of Astra Giurgiu for the second successive season.
The Hammers were without a raft of players due to injury but still fielded an XI that their guests would have been envious of. Davids Gold and Sullivan have pumped money into the club in recent years and bought a total of 18 players in the last three transfer windows.
West Ham overturned a dreadful record at Etihad to win 2-1 last season but in truth they were utterly dominated. City had 72% possession and 27 attempts on goal to the Irons’ six.
Prior to that win they had lost their last seven consecutive away games against the Citizens.
I sense that Pep Guardiola would have done some rigorous training with his City players since their lacklustre performance on Wednesday night.
The home win with both sides notching is a bet that won in eight of City’s 19 Premier League games at Etihad in 2015/16 and the fact remains that West Ham have scored in 10 of their last 11 away Premier League fixtures despite their current issues.
Combining that with City’s still creaking defence which has leaked in nine of its last 13 home league matches means that the obvious bet here is City to win and both teams to score available at 9/5 with Coral.
West Ham were abysmal at Chelsea in the first Monday night football of the season and with Dmitri Payet, Aaron Cresswell, Andre Ayew, Andy Carroll and Sofiane Feghouli all unavailable they look unlikely to win this.
Nolito has taken to the Premier League like a duck to water and both Fabian Delph and Raheem Sterling look like different players under the new management.
I’m not going to venture into any goal scorer markets here so it’s just the one bet for me.
Kelechi Iheanacho is doubtful and that further strengthens their focus on Sergio Aguero but 5/2 is not a price I would ever tip or back in the first goal scorer market.
Manchester City v West Ham – Manchester City to Win and Both Teams To Score (9/5 Coral)