West Ham Starting XI Prediction vs Manchester City

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After the disappointment of a shock loss to Wolverhampton in the league, the Hammers bounced right back in the best possible way winning their Europa League fixture in Austria.

Not only did it guarantee them the top spot of their group with one matchday to play, but David Moyes also managed to rest a whole host of first-team regulars before this massive clash with reigning Premier League champions Manchester City.

It’s a clash that historically hasn’t been too kind to the East London club in the Premier League era. West Ham will hope resting first-team players midweek can give them the advantage they need to pull off what would undoubtedly be a massive upset here.

West Ham’s untimely loss to Wolverhampton broke their four-game streak of wins away from home. In an interesting quirk of their form, the Hammers don’t lose consecutive matches that often.

They have only lost twice in a row two times since the beginning of the 2020/21 Premier League season.

Manchester City vs West Ham FYIs:

Kick-off time: 2 PM GMT, 28 November Sunday

Starting XI Predictions:   West Ham   Manchester City

Team News:   West Ham   Manchester City

Premier League Preview Pod: go here

Form Guide (All Competitions): Man City (LWWWW) West Ham (WDWLW)

With all this info in mind let’s see how the West Ham XI might just look come kick-off at the Etihad Stadium.

After getting a run between the posts in the Europa League, Alphonse Areola will be replaced by Lukasz Fabianski. West Ham’s ‘Pole In The Goal’ has been nothing short of sensational this season and is one of the big reasons West Ham is rubbing shoulders with the big boys as we head into the Christmas period.

Vlad Coufal should retain his place at right-back, but it is not as clear-cut as perhaps it would have been a month or so ago. Ben Johnson has been brilliant in his absence and is a little hard done by with this selection.

I maintain that Coufal is one of the most underrated right-backs in world football at the moment and that is why I have him starting ahead of an unlucky Johnson. Aaron Cresswell will return from a deserved rest midweek to line up at left-back.

Kurt Zouma and Craig Dawson will form the central defensive partnership. Zouma has been a revelation since signing from Chelsea and Dawson hasn’t missed a beat since Ogbonna injured his ACL against Liverpool.

I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again. Arguably the best defensive midfield pivot in the game will be reunited here after Declan Rice was rested against Rapid Wien.

Rice and Tomas Soucek are integral to everything good about West Ham at the moment, and if the Hammers are to pull off an upset – these two will have a massive hand in it.

Spaniard Pablo Fornals will be the attacking force of the midfield triumvirate. He is having a career season so far this year and will need to be marked closely by Manchester City.

After a stinker of a performance against Wolves, Michail Antonio will return fully rested here to be the focal point of the Hammers attack. He will be flanked by Said Benrahma and Jarrod Bowen as per usual. 

As good as West Ham has been in the Premier League so far this season, I just don’t see them having enough to beat City at the Etihad. I predict Man City to win this one 3-1.

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