Manchester City - West Ham Preview: Mancini's side look to extend unbeaten home run to eight matches
Roberto Mancini's men have not conceded a goal at the Etihad Stadium in five games in all competitions and are looking to cement their grip on second place in the Premier League
By Adam Mazrani
Roberto Mancini has the luxury of an almost fully-fit side to choose from as he awaits the visit of West Ham to the Etihad Stadium. Sergio Aguero should come back into the starting XI after only being fit enough to sit on the bench in the defeat at Tottenham last week, while James Milner should be fit to make the bench after being forced off at White Hart Lane with a hamstring injury.
Elsewhere, doubts remain over David Silva who has not played since the 2-1 victory at Manchester United due to an ankle problem while Maicon, Micah Richards and Jack Rodwell are all fit.
For the visitors, Mark Noble could be fit to start after making his return off the bench from a shoulder injury in the victory over Wigan last week. His return may see Ricardo Vaz Te drop to the bench as manager Sam Allardyce looks to stiffen up his side's midfield.
James Tomkins remains a doubt due to a calf injury while George McCartney is the Hammers' only definite absentee with a knee ligament injury.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Manchester City have kept six clean sheets in their last seven home games in the Premier League.
- City last lost to the Hammers in March 2009 when Jack Collison scored the only goal at Upton Park in a 1-0 victory. A repeat of that scoreline, with Collison as the goalscorer, is 170/1 with bet365.
- Collison is one of only three members of that matchday squad who still remain at West Ham, along with James Tomkins and Carlton Cole.
- From that City squad, Micah Richards, Pablo Zabaleta, Vincent Kompany and substitute Joe Hart are still at the club, while Wayne Bridge is currently on-loan at Brighton.
- Against Tottenham in their last match, City lost for the first time this season after taking the lead in the Premier League.
- West Ham have the best saves to shots rate in the Premier League this season (76%).
- Andy Carroll (pictured right) scored his first two goals for Liverpool against Manchester City in April 2011.
- From the West Ham squad that last visited the Etihad Stadium in May 2011, only James Tomkins as well as substitutes Winston Reid and Carlton Cole still ply their trade for the East London club.
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Top 3 Predictions
Manchester City FC 0-1 West Ham
- 14.35 %
Manchester City FC 2-0 West Ham
- 11.88 %
Manchester City FC 3-0 West Ham
- 9.63 %
|England - Capital One Cup(League Cup) (CCUP)||Jan 21, 2014||West Ham 0 - Manchester City FC 3|
|England - Capital One Cup(League Cup) (CCUP)||Jan 8, 2014||Manchester City FC 6 - West Ham 0|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Oct 19, 2013||West Ham 1 - Manchester City FC 3|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Apr 27, 2013||Manchester City FC 2 - West Ham 1|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Nov 3, 2012||West Ham 0 - Manchester City FC 0|
|Manchester City FC|
|Mar 2, 2014||Manchester City FC 3 - Sunderland 1||CCUP|
|Feb 22, 2014||Manchester City FC 1 - Stoke 0||EPL|
|Feb 18, 2014||Manchester City FC 0 - FC Barcelona 2||UCL|
|Feb 15, 2014||Manchester City FC 2 - Chelsea FC 0||FA|
|Feb 8, 2014||Norwich City 0 - Manchester City FC 0||EPL|
|12||Ricardo Vaz Te||Striker|
The Argentina international may not have had quite had the same explosive impact as he had in his debut season in Manchester due to various injury problems but when he has been fit he remains one of City's most inventive players, both on and off the ball. After hitting winners against both Manchester United and Chelsea recently before being sidelined in the defeat to Tottenham, the 24-year-old should returning to the starting XI.
The England international's loan spell in east London from Liverpool has not entirely gone as planned with a combination of injuries and poor form contributing to a paltry tally of only six goals so far this season. However, four of those strikes have come since the beginning of February and the former Newcastle man finally looks to have found his feet as a West Ham player. He showed against Manchester United that he is a menace against even the top defences at the moment and City will have to be on their guard at the Etihad.
The Hammers have been poor travellers all season long in the Premier League with only three victories to speak of on the road. City, on the other hand, have been strong on their home patch, with only one defeat so far in the Premier League and that was due to a last-minute goal against runaway champions Manchester United. Roberto Mancini's men will be looking to respond after United's title success last Monday while West Ham have little to play for having secured their survival, meaning the attacking firepower from Roberto Mancini's side should have more than enough to ease home.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed