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Premier League

  • May 1, 2011
  • • 16:10
  • • Etihad Stadium, Manchester
  • Referee: H. Webb
  • • Attendance: 44511
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Premier League Preview: Manchester City - West Ham United

Premier League Preview: Manchester City - West Ham United

Avram Grant's side are still within touching distance of Premier League safety but a trip to Eastlands will prove a tough test for the beleaguered Hammers


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PROBABLE LINE-UPS
Manchester City (4-3-3)
Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Kolarov; Toure Y, de Jong, Barry; Johnson A, Silva, Balotelli.
With Carlos Tevez missing with a hamstring injury, many City fans fear that the Argentine has played his last game for the club. Rumours concerning the striker's future just refuse to go away and Tevez is unlikely to play again this season.

Roberto Mancini is not expected to make any changes to the side which won at Blackburn last Monday and will be anticipating a comfortable home win which should all but clinch Champions League football for the Citizens next year.
West Ham United (4-4-1-1)
Green; Gabbidon, Jacobsen, Spector, Da Costa; Behrami, Hitzlsperger, Boa Morte, Kovac; Cole, Ba.
Avram Grant is certainly being restricted in his team selections as the Hammers continue to fight against the drop to the Championship.  Football Writers Association Footballer of the Year Scott Parker is still out with an Achilles injury.

Also in the sick bay are Mark Noble, Garry O’Neill and Matthew Upson. With such players unavailable to him, that fight is getting increasingly difficult.

DID YOU KNOW?
  • Manchester City are looking favourites to claim the fourth place in the league which would be City’s highest finish since ex-player Tony Book was manager back in 1977.
  • West Ham have been on a terrible run of late; their last win of any kind was on March 5 when they defeated Stoke City 3-0, six games ago.
  • This fixture has been kind to City.  They have not lost against the team from the capital at home since they met in the FA Cup in March 2006. West Ham won that day 2-1 with Sun Jihai being sent off.
  • Avram Grant’s (pictured right) record against City is dead even, two wins and two defeats. However, the two victories both came whilst the Israeli was in charge at Chelsea. Indeed, one of the victories was a 6-0 drubbing of City by Chelsea.
  • Carlos Tevez’s importance to the Manchester outfit cannot be over-emphasised. He leads the league goal scoring charts with 19, Mario Balotelli is second on six, and perhaps surprisingly Yaya Toure comes in third with five. With City having an eye on FA Cup glory too, the need for the likes of David Silva and Edin Dzeko to get among the goals increases.

Related

Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1Joe HartGoalkeeper
5Pablo ZabaletaDefender
4Vincent KompanyDefender
6Joleon LescottDefender
13Aleksandar KolarovDefender
34Nigel De JongMidfielder
18Gareth BarryMidfielder
11Adam JohnsonMidfielder
42Yaya Touré Midfielder
21David SilvaStriker
45Mario BalotelliStriker
12Stuart TaylorGoalkeeper
38D. BoyataDefender
7James MilnerMidfielder
11Shaun Wright-PhillipsMidfielder
-Patrick VieiraMidfielder
10Edin DzekoStriker
7Striker
1Robert GreenGoalkeeper
2Lars JacobsenDefender
5James TomkinsDefender
20Matthew UpsonDefender
19Danny GabbidonDefender
23Jonathan SpectorMidfielder
10Thomas HitzlspergerMidfielder
34Boa MorteMidfielder
40Freddie SearsStriker
9Demba BaStriker
7Robbie KeaneStriker
-Ruud BoffinGoalkeeper
2Winston ReidDefender
15Radoslav KovacDefender
22Manuel Da Costa TrindadeDefender
9Carlton ColeStriker
39Frédéric PiquionneStriker
33Victor Nsofor ObinnaStriker
Players to Watch
Mario Balotelli
Mario Balotelli
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 45
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Mad Mario is never dull. Whether he’s showing his undeniable talents with the ball or struggling to put on a bib, the young Italian will always provide the fans with something to talk about. If his compatriot Roberto Mancini can entice the best out of him he can be a deadly implement in the City toolbox.

When he sets his mind to doing what he does best, he can leave defenders flummoxed with his skill and eye for goal and he should display this against the Hammers.
Robert Green
Robert Green
Position: Goalkeeper
Squad Number: 1
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The keeper has had a turbulent few years. At one point he was touted as England’s next number one but a series of glaring and costly errors and the emergence of Joe Hart has cemented him into the back-up position for the national side. If West Ham are to stay up Green will have to play out of his skin to keep his side in games.

West Ham’s goal difference is not the worst in the league, but it’s close, minus 22 to be accurate. The Hammers are only two points from safety and with a gaggle of teams involved at the wrong end a point here would be a massive result, and Green's performance will be crucial to their earning even that.
Prediction
You never know what you’re going to get from Manchester City. They could be fabulous and destroy the opposition like they did against Sunderland, who it must be said are far higher in the table than West Ham, or they could be average and laboured like they were at home to Blackburn and Birmingham. If they are in the former mood, game over for West Ham, the Citizens will romp away with this as they continue to build momentum for the FA Cup final against Stoke.
Editor's Prediction

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