West Ham plays their final home fixture of a season that promised so much this weekend. They host champions elect Manchester City.
Believe it or not, the last time these two sides faced each other at the Olympic Stadium, David Moyes’ men walked away with the win. That was in the fourth round of this season’s Carabao Cup. That match would finish 0-0 after extra time. In the ensuing penalty shootout, City could not recover from Phil Foden’s miss and lost 5-3.
Unfortunately for the Hammers, it is a much different story in the league. The Irons have not won since 2015 against the Sky Blues in Premier League fixtures. Since then they have lost 10 and drawn two league fixtures against Manchester City.
There is still plenty on the line for the West Ham. If they can manage a miracle and collect all three points against a rampaging City, they will move ahead of Manchester United.
That would mean they would head into Championship Sunday in pole position to qualify for the Europa League ahead of City’s local rivals.
Manchester City at West Ham United FYIs
Kickoff: Sun May 15 2 pm GMT, London Stadium
Team News: Man City West Ham
Starting XI Predictions: Man City West Ham
Google Result Probability: Man City 70% Draw 18% West Ham 12%
Form Guide: Man City WWWWW West Ham WLLDL
Starting XI Prediction
Lukasz Fabianski will start between the sticks for the Hammers in this clash. He will look to keep a second consecutive clean sheet in the league.
With Craig Dawson doubtful, I am going with a center-back duo of Kurt Zouma and the returning Issa Diop. Young gun Ben Johnson misses out in favor of Czech right-back Vladimir Coufal. Aaron Cresswell starts at left back and will be on set piece duty.
I will reunite Declan Rice and Tomáš Sou?ek as the defensive midfield duo. Declan Rice has taken his game to another level in the last eighteen months. The rumor mill continues to link Rice with Chelsea, the club that released him as a junior. Manuel Lanzini provides the attacking thrust from the center of the park in this West Ham XI.
With Benrahma and Antonio both doubtful, I think Jarrod Bowen starts as the focal point of the West Ham attack. Nikola Vlasic will play to the left of Bowen. Ukrainian Andriy Yarmolenko starts in Bowen’s usual right-wing slot.
As much as I would love to predict a West Ham victory here, it simply just won’t happen. Manchester City is rampaging at the moment, scoring goals for fun and they will have no problem doing the same against West Ham. Given City’s own defensive crisis, this should be an entertaining match with a very predictable winner. Man City 5-2
Stuart Kavanagh is an up-and-coming sports journalist from Melbourne, Australia. Along with being the owner of the sports and entertainment website thepyrrhic.com, he is also the co-host of the ‘After Extra Time’ podcast. Football mad, he is always down for debate and discussion at @stueyissickofit on Twitter.