Manchester City Vs West Ham Match Preview (1 Viewer)

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For just the third time in the past 11 years, the Premier League title race will be decided on the final day. Reigning champions Manchester City aim to retain their crown at home against West Ham United on Sunday afternoon.

Pep Guardiola's squad is just 90 minutes away from making English football history, but the Hammers will do their best to spoil the party at the Etihad in what will be David Moyes's farewell match.

Thanks to an impressive 22-game unbeaten league run, including 18 wins and just four draws over the past five months, Manchester City are on the verge of etching their name into the history books. They extended their winning streak to eight games with a crucial 2-0 victory at Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday. Golden Boot-chasing Erling Haaland scored twice in the second half, but it was substitute goalkeeper Stefan Ortega who emerged as the hero, making key saves to keep City's title hopes alive.

Despite strong competition from Arsenal, who have dropped only four points in their 17 league games of 2024, Man City sits at the top of the table with 88 points, two clear of the second-placed Gunners. Arsenal will face Everton at the Emirates Stadium for their final fixture.

Man City has been the dominant force in English football, winning five of the last six Premier League titles, including the last three consecutively. With Pep Guardiola at the helm, a victory on Sunday would see City crowned champions for an unprecedented fourth season in a row. Alternatively, they just need to match Arsenal's result to clinch the top spot.

To calm any pre-match nerves, City can take confidence from their unbeaten run of 43 home games in all competitions—a club record. They haven't lost any of their last 16 league meetings with West Ham, and historically, the team sitting top on the final day has always lifted the trophy.

West Ham, who finished 14th last season before winning the Europa Conference League, are guaranteed to finish ninth this season, missing out on European qualification. The Hammers had a rocky start to 2024, winning only four of their first 23 games in all competitions. However, they secured a 3-1 comeback win against Luton Town last weekend, giving David Moyes a fitting send-off at the London Stadium.

Moyes's second stint as West Ham manager ends on Sunday. Despite his desire to finish on a high with a victory at the Etihad, he acknowledges the challenge ahead, even joking that "it would be difficult to stop their Under-14s winning the title."

Moyes has had some success against Man City in the past, with only more wins against Fulham (20) than against the Citizens (15) in all competitions. However, West Ham has a poor record at the Etihad, losing 15 of their 17 top-flight visits, with the exceptions being a 1-1 draw in January 2008 and a 2-1 win in September 2015.

They've conceded at least one goal in all 17 Premier League away games against City; only Spurs have a longer streak at a specific venue without a clean sheet (18 at the Emirates Stadium).

INJURIES & SUSPENSION​

Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson is out for the rest of the season with a fractured eye socket sustained midweek. However, playmaker Kevin De Bruyne should be fit to play despite a knock to his Achilles against Spurs.

Stefan Ortega is set to take Ederson’s place between the sticks, while a back four of Kyle Walker, Manuel Akanji, Ruben Dias, and Josko Gvardiol could remain unchanged. However, Nathan Ake and John Stones are on standby if needed.

Guardiola is unlikely to make many changes to his midfield or attack. If De Bruyne isn’t fit to start, either Jeremy Doku or Jack Grealish could return to the lineup, with Phil Foden potentially moving into the number 10 role behind 27-goal striker Erling Haaland.

For West Ham, centre-back duo Nayef Aguerd (ankle) and Konstantinos Mavropanos (knock) will be assessed ahead of kickoff. Manchester City loanee Kalvin Phillips is ineligible and is also nursing a calf strain.

Edson Alvarez is pushing for a recall in central midfield, which could see either Tomas Soucek or James Ward-Prowse make way, despite both scoring in the last match. Ward-Prowse was on the scoresheet in West Ham’s 3-1 defeat to Man City in September.

Jarrod Bowen, who leads West Ham with 16 Premier League goals, is set to spearhead the attack alongside Mohammed Kudus, Michail Antonio, and City-linked Lucas Paqueta.

POSSIBLE LINE-UPS​

Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Ortega; Walker, Akanji, Dias, Gvardiol; Rodri, Kovacic; Bernardo, De Bruyne, Foden; Haaland

West Ham United possible starting lineup:
Areola; Coufal, Zouma, Ogbonna, Emerson; Soucek, Alvarez; Bowen, Kudus, Paqueta; Antonio

EXPERT PREDICTION​

Manchester City 4-1 West Ham

Considering Manchester City's relentless performances since the start of the year, especially in recent weeks, it's hard to bet against them grabbing all three points on Sunday. However, City has a knack for making things difficult for themselves, and West Ham shouldn't be completely discounted.

The Hammers can pose a threat on the counter with players like Bowen and Kudus, but their defensive record hasn't been impressive, with just one clean sheet in their last 23 games. With a passionate crowd at the Etihad, Manchester City should have the quality to outscore their opponents and secure another Premier League title.
 

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