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West Ham - Part IV

Manchester City
West Ham

City of Manchester Stadium

20th January 2008


On Sky

After the relatively poor game on Wednesday; both sets of fans will hope the match is different. The City fans for a more attacking display and West Ham for at least not to lose to City. But this is fortress Eastlands and only Tottenham have been here with the help of the officials and denied City from getting anything and I am not so sure I can see this trend being broken.

Vital Quotes:

Sven on the Cup Ties: 'The simple fact is, that

based on the performances in both legs, either team could have

progressed to the next round. I am thrilled of course, that it

turned out to be us, but a little sorry for Alan Curbishley, who will

feel that he had many chances, perhaps more than us, to have got

through instead.'

It is vital we use the

momentum from Wednesday night to improve on past performances on Sunday

because as we know more than anyone, we will have our work cut out

against West Ham'

Manchester City Team News:

Recent loan signing Nery Castillo is out for up to six week with a shoulder injury.

Emile Mpenza's hamstring complaint will almost certainly prohibit his involvement.

Michael Johnson remains a long-term absentee with an abdominal problem, as does Valeri Bojinov - whose knee injury remains an ongoing concern but is to stall full training next week.

Player to watch: Martin Petrov

Yet again on Wednesday he gave the right back(Neill) a torrid time and I expect much the same on Sunday.

West Ham Team News:

Julien Faubert's bright cameo appearance off the bench in midweek sees him come into contention to start, while Lee Bowyer and Luis Boa Morte must wait to learn whether their cup efforts were enough to keep Hayden Mullins and Carlton Cole out of Curbishley's first XI.

Danny Gabbidon and James Collins are both fit and pressing for opportunities at the back, while at the other end of the field, Bobby Zamora and Craig Bellamy are back in training but some way short of match fitness

Player to watch: Dean Ashton

Yet again he was the threat against our defence and I expect that to be the same again.

Match Facts & Stats

West Ham have only one once at City in the premier league and that was at Maine Road in 2003 when a Freddie Kanoute goal seperated the two sides and West Ham were managed by Hammers legend Trevor Brookingat the time as he tried valiantly to keep them up.

If City win it will be their second double of the season after their first at Newcastle two weeks ago and would replicate last season's double over the hammers.

Ref Watch:

Phil Dowd - not the best referee's; this is the first game with City this season, but his two games last season resulted in a four nil defeat and a three nil defeat; so maybe third time lucky.

Match Prediction:

A much more entertaining game with City pressing high up the pitch to score two unanswered goals before a late goal for West Ham to make it a nervy last few minutes. 2-1.

Next Fixtures:

Sheffield United away at Bramhall Lane 4th round of the FA cup with a 4pm kick off on Sky.

Writer:Gavin Cooper
Date:Saturday January 19 2008
Time: 4:51PM


I think we could be in for a goal blitz humdinger. There, I've said it now!
Johnny Baguette
19/01/2008 17:01:00
stuff them hammer c unts 4 the yids please city!
19/01/2008 17:47:00
We will only get a goal blitz if we start matches from the first whistle instead of waiting until the second half.
19/01/2008 19:54:00
We will have to play a lot better than we did on Wednesday. If Bianchi is going would you put him in the squad? I personally have known I was moving on and my heart was then no longer in my job. The question also arises that if they sell Sam Harris, Geovanni and Bianchi, who do we have left that is fit?
Buzz Lightyear
20/01/2008 10:19:00
If there any truth in these rumours Sven must know what he is doing.
20/01/2008 10:41:00
Sven on Bianchi courtesy MUEN... "It's a pity, but on the other hand, I can understand it if he's not playing very much. He's 24 years old. He has a lot of promise, and he's played for Italy under-21s. "One of his dreams, of course, is to play at number nine for Italy. You can understand his concerns that his chances of doing that may lessen if he is not playing very much. So we will see what happens."
Johnny Baguette
20/01/2008 12:03:00
To say he is not playing much is a slight exaggeration when you consider that he has started in 9 matches and has come on as sub in 14 matches that is a total of 23 appearances for 4 goals, not a very healthy contribution. However having said all that I think he would be far more effective if he had someone like Etuhu on the right who has pace and is capable of supplying his needs.
20/01/2008 12:34:00
I know it is easy to manage a team from the sidelines, but I think you will agree that when Bianchi is on the field, you just feel that we have a better chance of scoring and the team seem to play better. Perhaps if he played a 41212 and partnered Bianchi with Vassell and played Elano just behind the front two. Hamann doing the central defensive midfield.
Buzz Lightyear
20/01/2008 12:44:00
Could we not buy Dean Ashton, when fit does a good job for Haymers, but will he cost too much?
Buzz Lightyear
20/01/2008 12:47:00
I think the best combination of two strikers is Bianchi & Mpenza. Why would Ashton want to leave the Hammers when he is on Megabucks.
20/01/2008 12:50:00
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