Man City v West Ham Preview

English Premier League | Sunday 11 May 2014 | Etihad Stadium | 16:00




Premier League survivors West Ham travel to title-chasing Manchester City on Sunday in a decisive clash that could decide whether City are crowned league champions.

To Win (90mins)
Man City 1/7 
Draw 74/10 
West Ham 12/1

MANCHESTER CITY

Edin Dzeko's double at Everton helped Manchester City clear the biggest obstacle blocking their route to a second English league title in three years.

City were not at their best against an Everton side who have run out of steam of late but showed their mettle to claw out a hugely important victory.

With their two remaining games both at home to Aston Villa on Wednesday and West Ham on Sunday, City should be crowned Premier League champions in Manuel Pellegrini's first year in charge.

Pellegrini couldn’t have wished for a more straight forward way to edge over the finishing line.

City are now the team we all expected to be when Pellegrini re-shaped that galaxy of stars at the start of the season.

Manchester City have been an irresistible force at home this season, having played 17 matches they have won 15 times and drawn once.

The Sky Blues have scored a remarkable 57 goals while conceding only 13. City have employed a 4-2-2-2 system for much of the season.

It's an attacking formation requiring discipline from the the two central midfielders, who can be left exposed when the wide players are high up the pitch in support of the strikers.

Yaya Toure is the envy of every other Premier League club. There isn't another midfielder in the league who possesses the same mix of power, pace, defensive quality and attacking capability.

His powerful bursts from midfield are an incredible facet to his game, and gives City an edge that few other sides can match.

Toure moves through the gears at pace, with his close control and sheer strength meaning he can beat players and take City up the pitch within seconds. His presence alone will cause the Hammers all kinds of problems.

Striker Sergio Aguero who has battled with injuries for much of the season, remains a major doubt for the Citizens after tweaking his groin against Everton last weekend.

WEST HAM

West Ham guaranteed its Premier League survival with a 2-0 win over 10-man Tottenham in a London derby which took the pressure off Hammers manager Sam Allardyce.

This victory was West Ham's third win over Spurs this season in all competitions.

Up next is a trip to the Etihad Stadium to take on free-scoring Manchester City who are in desperate need of a win to claim silverware.

The reverse fixture turned out to be a disaster for the Hammers as City claimed a 3-1 victory at Upton Park, which was followed by a 9-0 aggregate victory for the Sky Blues in the League Cup.

West Ham have struggled to win on their travels, suffering 10 losses, drawing on four occasions and winning just four from 18 games played.

Senegalese midfielder Mohammed Diame has been a regular in the West Ham midfield for the duration of the campaign.

Thirty-four league appearances to date have solidified his reputation as a strong and athletic midfielder.

He offers a strong presence in the centre of the pitch and will look to unsettle City’s midfield.

While Diame is not an obvious goal threat, the in-form Kevin Nolan certainly is.

The former Bolton midfielder has chipped in with seven goals and five assists this season, being West Ham’s primary creative force.

If the Sky Blues are careless in possession or take their eye off the ball defensively, Nolan is the type of player who can pounce.

Mark Noble has arguably been their most consistent player this season, and could be up for West Ham United’s Player of the Year for the second time in three years.

He has played a pivotal role for the East London side this season, breaking up the play when needed (78 interceptions, 69% tackle success rate and winning 56% of his ground duels).

It's been a stop start campaign for striker Andy Carroll after suffering an injury that kept him out for a large chunk of the season.

His return to the squad has seen the Hammers look more threatening up front.

Carroll offers something different and will be determined to strike against City and catch the eye of Roy Hodgson as selection for Brazil this summer approaches.

Marco Borriello, the club's loan signing is out with a calf injury, but other than that, Allardyce has no fresh injury concerns.

Betting Prediction: MAN CITY 1/7
By all accounts it has been a good season for Manuel Pellegrini. His side remain in pole position to win the Premier League title in the Chilean’s first year at the helm. City have been in fantastic goal scoring form this season, netting 96 times. Central to Man City’s good season has been their excellent home form. The Sky Blues have already beaten the Hammers on three occasions this season and are tipped to get a valuable three points.

Written by Chadley Nagel for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now! 

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