Manchester City Forum - Manchester City v West Ham Utd - 4pm Sun 3rd Dec - Premier League Match Preview and MDT
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Manchester City v West Ham Utd - 4pm Sun 3rd Dec - Premier League Match Preview and MDT
30 November 2017 12:34 Post ID: #612049
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Preview

After another late, late show on Wednesday evening City welcome the seriously underperforming West Ham United to the Etihad on Sunday.

Despite the appointment of a new manager there seems precious little sign of a revival in the Hammer’s fortunes - they need to turn things around sharpish if they are to stand any chance of avoiding relegation. Only two league wins all season they are lodged in 18th place having conceded 30 goals - more than any other Premier League side. Visiting the league leaders is not going to be top of their wish list right now.

That said their last win was against Spurs where they went 2-0 down at Wembley only to strike back in the second half to secure a 2-3 victory. So Pep needs to be on his guard specially as he has to juggle the subsequent long trip to the Ukraine for the final Champions League Group stage fixture on Wednesday and the derby the following weekend.

December has arrived and the fixtures come thick and fast - another test of the resilience of the squad and their mettle both collectively and individually. They have handled everything that has come their way so far and there is little to suggest that they won’t continue to stand up to every challenge.

I have no doubt that former blue and City legend Pablo Zabaleta will receive a standing ovation as he makes his first return to his former club for the first time in a competitive fixture. Likewise a warm reception will be given to Joe Hart who is on loan at the London club. Having made nearly 350 appearances for City and been integral to one of the most important parts of their history he too will be welcomed although I believe that under the PL rules he will not be eligible to play against his parent club.

Southampton put up a spirited defence at the Etihad in midweek and at least they appeared to be defending with a purpose, clearly well coached in screening the City midfielders to prevent or at least restrict the sharp, incisive forward passing that has been such a feature of City’s play this season. This was more than just ‘parking the bus’ as the Saint’s players moved in groups and showed tenacity in their early tackling, interceptions and working together in units to disrupt City’s play. Pellegrino had done his homework & it very nearly paid off.

In many ways whilst the victory over Huddersfield as described as a watershed moment for the season especially given the statistic that it was the first time in over three decades that City have overturned a halftime deficit to win a game, so too the win on Wednesday was satisfying for City’s own tenacity, resilience and determination in overcoming as well thought out and executed tactical approach. Pep likes what he is seeing and his players are repaying his faith in them. No more so than Raheem Sterling who, for the third time in 8 days, scored the winning goal for his club. Oh how the scousers must still be grateful that they sold him. After all, they had Jordan Ibe.

Last six meetings (all comps):

City W5 D1 L0 GF18 GA5

Last six fixtures at the Etihad:-

City W6 D0 L0 GF16 GA4

Overall record v West Ham:-

City W51 D17 L37

Famous West Ham fans:-
Ray Winstone
Russell Brand
Phill Jupitus
Danny Dyer
Alfred Hitchcock (bet that one is a surprise)

West Ham legends:-

Booby Moore - a silky smooth and skilful defender, the only England captain ever to lift the World Cup. I actually think that John Stones’s recent performances have been reminiscent of his style and calmness under pressure.

City and West Ham connections:-

Malcolm Allison - he made 238 appearances for the Hammers before tuberculosis ended his playing career. He went on to become part of the managerial team with Joe Mercer that delivered so much success in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.

Kevin Horlock - only 27 appearances in claret & blue for the player without whose goal against Gillingham we might have seen a very different history for our club.

Marc Vivien Foe - the scorer of City’s last ever goal at Maine Road he made 38 appearances for the Hammers before moving to Lyon and then City. He sadly passed away in 2003 while playing for Cameroon. I will always fondly remember him for the provider of the ‘pass’ that led to Shaun Goater’s opener against the rags in the last ever derby against them at Maine Road.

Others - Eyal Berkovic, Carlos Tevez, Steve Lomas, Trevor Moreley, Paulo Wanchope, Ian Bishop, John Bond.

Pep will have one eye on the long trip to the Ukraine in midweek but also the upcoming derby match which will doubtless see Moaning Maureen playing the ‘underdog’ card. Fernandinho is only one yellow card away from a suspension which would mean him missing the derby so whether Pep chooses to let this fact influence his team selection will be interesting. Frankly I was surerised he didn’t receive a caution for some of his challenges against Southampton - he has received cards for more innocuous tackles for sure. Likewise Sane, after his handbags spat with van la Parra last weekend is also on 4 cautions. Both would be sorely missed.

But that is for the future.

We next have to negotiate a West Ham side that now know they are fighting for the Premier League survival and will look to make things difficult. I hope that we don’t have yet another ‘down to the wire’ performances - I am not sure our nerves can take many more of those - but I am also confident that the City players are getting far better at dealing with these situations and so their motto could be taken straight from Galaxy Quest and the captain of the NSEA Protector, Jason Naismith….....

“Never give up, never surrender!!”

Come on City!!!

Opponent to watch

Michail Antonio - a versatile player who has a knack of popping up and scoring goals.

Match Officials

Referee - Mike Dean
Assistants - Simon Long; Daniel Cook
Fourth Official - Mike Jones

Stats** comparison (Premier League):-

City

Goals per game - 3.1
Avg Possesion - 66.2%
Pass Accuracy - 88.9%
Shots per game - 17.6
Discipline - 25Y, 2R

West Ham

Goals per game - 0.9
Avg Possesion - 49.2%
Pass Accuracy - 76.6%
Shots per game - 10.1
Discipline - 30Y, 2R

**Stats courtesy of Whoscored.com

Team News

City should see the return of Sane after missing the Southampton game through illness. Mendy may well have had a dressing down after he rushed to join the celebrations after Sterling’s late winner in midweek. Not what you want the guy doing really as he continues his rehabilitation.

West Ham will be without Winston “almost murdered by Sergio ‘the Brute’ Aguero” Reid , Collins, Andy “Elbows” Carroll and Fonte. Ex-rag Hernandez and Byram could face late fitness tests.

Potential starting XI, subs & formation

Ederson

Walker, Kompany, Otamendi, Delph

De Bruyne, Gundogan, Silva D

Sterling, Aguero, Jesus

Subs:-

Bravo, Mangala, Danilo, Toure, Silva B, Fernandinho, Sané
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30 November 2017 14:38 Post ID: #612060 - in reply to #612049
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A very enjoyable read Skoorb , thank you, You are right about Alfred Hitchcock and I was thinking after their show on Wednesday with Rooney scoring from within his own half how ironic that I was at the game when Wet Spam duffed us with Budgie Byrne doing the same to Joe Corrigan.

Zabba, will get a rousing welcome, if he is selected and of course JH1 will not be between the jumpers because he is still on loan.

I also wonder if the FA will take a dim view of pep dancing on the touchline or the fact that Spectator Mr Mendy was seen running on the pitch trying to get a selfie of him with match winner Raheem Sterling.

Another tough match for City as they try to get round another parked bus, unless Mr Moyes has other ideas.
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30 November 2017 19:40 Post ID: #612073 - in reply to #612049
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Many thanks for the excellent preview. I like Westham and their supporters, but not enough to gift them any points. Westham fan TV is always entertaining. I don't think Moyes will make it to the end of the season, there has been no new manager bounce thus far. The Zabman of course will get a warm ovation, one of our all time great full backs.
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30 November 2017 22:47 Post ID: #612078 - in reply to #612049
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Thanks Skoorb. Didnt know Sane was on suspension alert. Missed his runs against the Saints and will be vital at the swamp. Would rest him and fern. Otherwise strongest team and send the bench to Ukraine and eff Napoli right off.
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01 December 2017 03:29 Post ID: #612082 - in reply to #612049
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Good read Skoorb.
Pity Hart won’t be playing after seeing his performance against Everton.
Have to play by the rules though.
Hope we can win this one without the last minute stuff.
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01 December 2017 07:30 Post ID: #612089 - in reply to #612049
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It is indeed a shame Joe won't play and it will be interesting to see what the pundits and commentators will make of his form as I am sure it will get mentioned.

Perhaps they will be forced to face the fact that the pesky foreign coach who "callously cast aside England's No 1" (Note - the same No 1 they castigated for his performances in the Euros especially against Iceland) might actually have known what he was doing. There has been a deafening silence on this subject since it has been quite plain that Ederson isn't half bad as a shot stopper, isn't afraid to come and get the ball, is calmness personified in tight ball control situations and who can pass the ball as well as some of his outfield team mates.

I don't think any of us could imagine Joe Hart coming out of his area and controlling the ball with one touch as well as Ederson did in the second half against Sunderland. In my mind's eye I still can see the mess that occurred in the dying minutes of the away game against Chelsea when Joe Hart thundered out his area only to get all mixed up with Nastasic allowing Torres to score the winner (for balance I can also see the finger tip save made against Spurs in the 0-0 draw in 2012 and the penalty save against Messi....).

The inconvenient fact that Ederson has been a success and clearly breeds confidence amongst his defence has been largely glossed over as has Joe Hart's inability to prevent so many goals being conceded by West Ham.

The silence on this subject speaks volumes. Can't very well go around confirming that this pesky foreign bloke with his new fangled coaching ideas actually knew what he was doing......
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01 December 2017 08:29 Post ID: #612091 - in reply to #612049
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Yeah, he's a bit good isn't he?

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01 December 2017 09:09 Post ID: #612095 - in reply to #612049
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Love these little videos thanks again Bluey
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01 December 2017 09:36 Post ID: #612097 - in reply to #612049
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My pleasure Ozi
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01 December 2017 10:58 Post ID: #612100 - in reply to #612049
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Nice piece on Zaba's return to the Etihad.

http://www.skysports.com/football/news/11661/11150209/pablo-zabalet...

He is the ****** man.


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01 December 2017 20:57 Post ID: #612106 - in reply to #612049
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Kompany's one card away from suspension as well.

I thought he wouldn't play on Wednesday due to the theory of him not being able to sustain two games in fairly quick succession.

I wonder if Mangala might get the nod on Sunday?
I suspect Sane will be selected, and told to avoid any confrontation at all cost. We'll see.
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02 December 2017 08:30 Post ID: #612111 - in reply to #612049
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Kompany has accumulated those cards in rapid time
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02 December 2017 08:36 Post ID: #612114 - in reply to #612049
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Symptomatic of being a half yard of the pace I'd say.
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02 December 2017 09:25 Post ID: #612115 - in reply to #612049
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Yes. Fractions of seconds count and ‘match fitness’ is as much anticipation and judgement as it is lasting 90 mins
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02 December 2017 18:53 Post ID: #612144 - in reply to #612049
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Looking forward to seeing how Sane handles Zabba - assuming he (Sane) starts. Maybe keep him on the berti just in case.

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02 December 2017 22:09 Post ID: #612159 - in reply to #612049
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Maybe off air tomorrow, they are fixing something , hopefully they will have fixed it by 4.00pm.
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03 December 2017 03:55 Post ID: #612163 - in reply to #612049
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Is Sane does start against Pablo I hope my reckoning that Pablo doesn’t get a card is proved to be correct.
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