It is not the best of times for the reigning English Premier League Champions Manchester City. They are currently trailing runaway league leader Liverpool by a whopping 25 points and to add salt to injury, they were recently suspended for two seasons by UEFA from UCL competition for breaching the Financial Fair play rules.
Against the backdrop of uncertainties surrounding the suspension and the noise it has generated, comes the rearranged premier league fixture against West Ham United which was initially fixed for Sunday last week. The game has been rescheduled to take place today on the 19th of February 2020 at the Etihad stadium by 7:30 PM.
What to expect from Manchester City Players
The mood from the player has been positive, with a lot of the players not getting distracted by the recent happening surrounding the club. Leroy Sane, Benjamin Mendy, and Aymeric Laporte are all back training with the main squad, with just Raheem Sterling out injured. The players would be itching to make a positive start to their premier league campaign that has seen some negative results over the past few months.
Manchester City got humbled by Tottenham 2-0 away in their last match and it was a bitter pill to swallow for the EPL reigning Champions. Recent results have not been too bad, with Aston Villa getting hammered 6-1 at Villa Park, drawing 2-2 at home to Crystal Palace and winning 1-0 against Sheffield United at home. Expect a very hungry and passionate City side tonight!
What to expect from West Ham United
It is so difficult to see West Ham avoiding a defeat against a wounded team like Manchester City. West Ham has been on the down slide in the past four premier league games. Drawing 1-1 at home to Everton, losing 4-1 against a very good Leicester City side, losing 2-0 at home to runaway leaders Liverpool and drawing 3-3 at home against Brighton in a game they were expected to win. They currently have some key players down with injuries.
Felipe Anderson is a doubt for tonight’s encounter, having just recovered from a back injury. Jack Wilshere has a Groin injury while their Russian Star Andril Yarmolenko has a tear in his abductor’s muscle. It will no doubt be an herculean task to grab a point from the game considering their poor run of form lately. They can however still spring a surprise as their manager David Moyes is an experienced tactician.
How the team may Line up
Predicting Pep Guardiola’s line up can be very difficult, as he has been known to spring to surprises lately. Ederson is however expected to keep his position between the stick, with Fernandinho, Otamendi, Walker, and Mendy making up the back line. Rodri, Kevin De Bruyne, and David Silva will occupy the midfield, with Mahrez and Bernardo Silva operating the flanks. Sergio Aguero can be trusted to lead City’s attack. Pep can call on Jesus, Joao Cancelo, Laporte, and Phil Foden if needed.
For West Ham United, Lukasz Fabianski is the favorite in goal, with Angelo Ogbonna, Issa Diop, Aaron Cresswell, and Ryan Fredericks holding forth in defense. Veteran Mark Noble, Balbuena, Declan Rice will hold the midfield, while Michail Antonio, Tomas Soucek, Sebastien Haller, and Robert Snodgrass will lead West Ham attack. This game is remarkable in the sense that it may be the last homecoming for former City star, Pablo Zabaleta, who is adored by City fans and family.
It is hard to see West ham escaping a defeat away to Manchester City. I see City grabbing all 3 points with a 4-0 victory. Kun Aguero most likely going to be on the score sheet to add to his 16 goals tally. It will be an exciting game to watch as City are known for their entertaining pattern of play.
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