Things took a turn for the worse for West Ham after an unimpressive win of 1-0 against minions Bournemouth. Star striker Andy Carroll was ruled out for a period of four to six months after he suffered a knee injury in a Europa League play-off in Romania. As if that was not enough, he was joined in the injury list by fellow forward, Andre Ayew, the £20million new signing from Swansea City.
It was a sign of things to come, as West ham crumbled to a resurgent Chelsea 1-2 in only their second outing in this 2016-17 season. Their lone goal came of the boots of their defender James Collins who made the best of a loose ball landing from a corner kick. The Hammers, with a toothless attack, will need something much more than that when they run into Pep Guardiola’s men at the Etihad on Sunday.
Guardiola has stamped his authority on the game as was evident from the high possession-high intensity style the boys from Manchester adopted in their resounding win of 4-1 over Stoke City last Saturday. The De Bruyne-Aguero combine is looking at its deadliest. Aguero has already got 3 of Man City’s six goals scored in the last two matches. Guardiola’s purchase of Celta Vigo left winger and forward, Nolito, for £13million seems to have paid off. The Spaniard is already into goals having found the back of the net twice in his two outings.
Although West Ham manager Slaven Bilic has brought in eight fresh new faces this summer, he will bank heavily on his talisman Dmitri Payet (a star of Euro 2016) to deliver the goods at Manchester on the 28th. None of Payet’s great form of the Euros was visible in the sparse 20 minutes he spent on the field for the Hammers so far.
As for Man City, one surprising move from Guardiola has been to relegate Joe Hart to the benches and introduce an equally aged Willy Caballero in goal. In fact, a signing of Barcelona’s Claudio Bravo who is well into his thirties seems to be on the works. But such moves should not worry a confident Man City defense populated by the likes of Masceranho, Kolarov, Gail Clichy and the very dependable Otamendi.
West Ham have their work cut out at the Manchester City stadium on 28 August. Odds overwhelmingly favor the hosts even though the Hammers came out well against the men from Manchester in the last 2015-16 season. One was a 2-2 draw and the other was a win of 2-1. No one expects the 7th position Premier League club of last season to prevail against Pep Guardiola’s men this time around.
Aguero has been hitting goals left, right and centre. The odds are low, but ok if you choose the right bookie. Paddypower are offering just 1.4, but take Skybet’s 1.62 for a bit of value.
Aguero, Anytime Goalscorer, Best odds 1.62 @ Skybet