Saturday afternoon sees Manuel Pellegrini take his title-chasing Manchester City side down to London to face West Ham United. Buoyed by recent positive results such as the 2-0 dismantling of Liverpool, and the return to fitness of Dimitri Payet, The Hammers will be looking to earn at least a point from their day’s work. They currently lie in sixth place and have not dropped off the pace ever since their scintillating start to the campaign which included picking up all three points at the home of their opponents this weekend. Manchester City still find themselves without the talismanic Vincent Kompany and this could prove costly should Payet start to pull the strings in midfield. However, with Sergio Aguero looking like he is approaching his brilliant best again, The Citizens’ travelling faithful may well be expecting a win on the road. In anticipation of the exciting match-up, two of our followers gave us their thoughts on how the game would play out.
The hosts: West Ham United
Hi all, my name is Sean Macleod I am a West Ham fan and have been for 23 years, I also follow non-league football and support Lewes FC. You can follow me on Twitter @soimabitmental .
West Ham United have been on a good run of form until the defeat at the hands of Newcastle last time out in the Premier League. That series of positive results equalled the club record of eight games undefeated and as a result, they are making a concerted push for European football. The performance against The Magpies was somewhat out of character compared to recent displays and Hammers fans will be hoping that their heroes can right those wrongs against Manchester City on Saturday.
Manager approval rating – 9/10:
I would give Slaven Bilic a 9/10 as ever since he took over the reigns, the ex-player has turned this West Ham side into a proper club once more. The former Croatia national coach has been taken to the hearts of the Upton Park faithful not only because of some impressive results, but he has managed it by playing the ‘West Ham way’, which is great to see. My only concern is an apparent lack of a plan B from him when the game doesn’t go his way.
Predicted starting line-up:
Player to watch – Sam Byram:
The player to watch is Sam Byram after his move from Leeds United. It seemed as though it was only a matter of time before Everton would secure his signature, but the boyhood fan of The Hammers jumped at the chance to sign on at The Boleyn Ground. There will undoubtedly be pressure on the right-sided player and it will be interesting to see how he responds. Byram certainly appears to be a top talent but it will be a while before we can determine if he is ready for football at England’s elite level.
Most feared opposition player – Sergio Aguero:
It is hard to pick out an individual player from the plethora of talented stars at Manchester City’s disposal, but when push comes to shove, I would have to go with Sergio Aguero. He is the best striker in the Premier League, is definitely world-class, and in my view is the closest thing to the likes of Messi, Suarez and Neymar that we can watch on these shores.
It’s a tough one to predict for a West Ham United fan. It must be considered that Bilic’s men are at home to probably the best team in the league, but they have already come out on top once this season and I wouldn’t put it past West Ham to do it again. Nevertheless, it would also not be a massive shock to see Manchester City hand out a drubbing to the home team and as such, I will go with a 1-1 draw.