Manchester City will be aiming to put an end to their dismal form by beating a West Ham United side that has also found positive results hard to come by in 2015.
The outlook of this fixture could not be any more different than when they met on the final day of last season, when goals from Samir Nasri and Vincent Kompany secured the title for City and Manuel Pellegrini. Less than a year on, the Chilean’s future is in a severe doubt due to a worrying sequence in recent weeks.
After conceding the equaliser in the Manchester derby last time out, City looked a beaten side and allowed their bitter rivals, brimming with confidence, to dominate the remainder of the match. Failure to win here would lead to more questions being asked and offer hope to the chasing pack in their attempts to catch them for fourth place.
The key for the visitors would be to nullify the threat of David Silva and Sergio Aguero. The latter was back to scoring form at Old Trafford and along with his teammates he will be keen to serve up a response. Winston Reid and James Collins will be called upon to defend stoutly for the mid-table Londoners.
Manager Sam Allardyce, whose future also looks unclear, was left to rue yet another stoppage time equaliser against Stoke City, adding to a number of late setbacks which have cost them points since the turn of the year. In fairness, victory would have been fortunate, with Stoke the dominant side after Aaron Cresswell’s fine early free-kick.
To make matters worse for City, they are without several players for this match. Captain Vincent Kompany could miss the rest of the season, while James Milner, Wilfried Bony, Stevan Jovetic and Gael Clichy are all missing.
West Ham could recall Carlton Cole in place of the injured Diafra Sakho, with Enner Valencia likely to feature despite picking up a minor toe injury against Stoke.
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