With the exception of a 2-1 loss to Newcastle United, Manchester City have had a near flawless 2019. They’re posing a serious threat to Liverpool at the top of the Premier League – sitting just one point behind. Plus, with their last league outing being a dominant 6-0 mauling of Chelsea, they look close to unstoppable once again.
However, their recent past shows just how easily you can look foolish if you underestimate your opponents. City have been shocked by underdogs in the past. And although the Hammers will be the favourites of few outside their own fan base, they have shown enough sparkle – for example, in their draw against Liverpool and victory over Arsenal – to be taken seriously against arguably the absolute best that English football has to offer.
Manchester City vs West Ham United Prediction: Man City 2-0 West Ham
You could make a solid argument for West Ham United to be favourites over most teams in the Premier League. Unfortunately for them though, Manchester City are not most teams. It’s more to do with the home team’s strengths, rather than West Ham’s weaknesses, that they are such clear underdogs here.
Not only that but having seen how City have dominated lately – often winning by a fair margin and with a clean sheet –, we have to conclude that it’s likely we’ll see something similar here. With that in mind, our predicted scoreline is for City to emerge with a 2-0 victory.
Our recommended tip: Man City win to nil
Just one point shy of the Premier League top spot, Manchester City come into this contest as the clear favourites. They have a huge 80% win probability, which absolutely dwarfs West Ham’s 6% win probability – with a draw being more likely at 14%. Therefore, a bet on the favourites is a safe one, with Paddy Power offering very low-risk Man City match odds of 1/7. To increase your potential ROI though, we recommend that you predict the home team will win to nil to get slightly higher risk but still safe odds of 11/10 on this result.
Sadly for West Ham United, there aren’t many surprises when we look at their head-to-head history. Manchester City have a large statistical advantage, with over a dozen more victories in this fixture than their opponents. Not only that but it’s a trend which has continued to their more recent encounters. City has won their last six meetings in a row, and their November 2018 clash ended with a decisive 4-0 in their favour. West Ham last won in 2015 and 2014, which is close enough to show that an upset here is indeed possible, if rather unlikely.
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Players to watch: Bernardo Silva & Manuel Lanzini
Manchester City: Bernardo Silva
Although the newspaper headlines regarding Manchester City’s Carabao Cup final win over Chelsea may all focus on the controversies surrounding goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, it should have been Silva who got the attention for his incredible quality and breathtaking technique. There are so many star players at City, and the fact that Silva continues to stand out is a testament to his ability and professionalism.
West Ham United: Manuel Lanzini
The man who was voted West Ham’s Player of the Season last year once again shone in their 3-1 victory over Everton. His attacking ability, as well as his passing accuracy, make Manuel Lanzini the exact type of all-rounder West Ham will need in order to topple a giant like Manchester City. He can’t do it alone, but he is often the key to West Ham’s success. If you want to see how they move forward against a force like City, keep an eye on Lanzini.