West Ham v Man City Betting Predictions | Premier League BettingPublished January 30, 2017
When West Ham United welcome Manchester City to the London Stadium for their Premier League clash on Wednesday night, they will have one thing on their mind. Revenge.
Following their 5-0 FA Cup third round humiliation earlier this month, the Hammers have recovered impeccably with two victories in the league, comprehensively dispatching two struggling sides in Crystal Palace and Middlesbrough, scoring three in each.
It appears that the now confirmed departure of former talisman Dimtri Payet, who returned to Marseille this week has brought the team and the club closer together. The arrivals of Southampton defender and captain Jose Fonte and Hull City star Robert Snodgrass should also bolster their confidence.
It is unlikely, given their opponent, that Slaven Bilic’s side’s frequency in finding the net will continue, but City have struggled against teams who play to West Ham’s strength this season. The extra motivation, influx of new players and great form of striker Andy Carroll in particular could mean goals for the hosts and, more importantly a good result.
Carroll is a player whose career could have been so much more impressive if it weren’t for injuries. On his day, he is unplayable in the air, owing to not only his six foot four frame but also his unrivalled strength and bravery. Two goals against Middlesbrough showed the threat he carries, but a sublime left-footed overhead effort against Crystal Palace proves he is much more than just a big man who puts himself about.
Carroll provides an outlet and that is what will worry Pep Guardiola the most. Although Bilic likes to play a possession-based style of football, attempting that against a manager who has mastered the craft, not to mention the ability to punish mistakes both David Silva and Kevin de Bruyne have in their locker, would be a huge gamble.
The best way West Ham can get something is first by matching the undoubted intensity Guardiola will instil, which they didn’t do last time they met, conceding three goals within ten minutes. Crucially, though, they should look to get the ball to Carroll as quickly as possible, both negating Guardiola’s signature high press and affording the striker the opportunity to bully Nicolas Otamendi and John Stones in the air.
When Leicester City beat Manchester City 4-2 at the King Power Stadium, a similar tactic was used, only it played more to Jamie Vardy’s strengths, allowing him to chase the ball down, terrifying Stones and resulting in a hattrick for the England man. Carroll has the ability to do the same in the air, especially with new-boy Snodgrass’ crossing credentials.
Man City’s strengths need less of an introduction, having already mentioned De Bruyne and Silva. But Brazilian striker Gabriel Jesus will provide an unpredictable threat. He has impressed in his early days at the Etihad Stadium, offering competition to Sergio Aguero, which may see the Argentine step up his game on Wednesday.
City will be looking to recover from their draw at home to Tottenham, which provided further evidence of their defence being weak when threatened. They head into the game as favourites, but considering everything, there could be real value in backing the hosts and both teams to score at 8/1 (Betfair).