Manchester City can take another step closer to the Premier League title by beating West Ham United on Wednesday.
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Manchester City vs West Ham United predictions
Manchester City have rediscovered their best form at the perfect time. An eighth consecutive victory on Sunday saw Pep Guardiola’s side go top of the Premier League for the first time since mid-February.
City were made to work for their three points at Craven Cottage. Fulham pushed them all the way to the final whistle. City were the better team, but they were unable to win by more than a one-goal margin.
Still, the champions got the job done in west London to cement their status as strong favourites to win the title.
At the time of writing they are a point clear of Arsenal and also have a game in hand on the team they thrashed 4-1 last week.
By the time this match kicks off at the Etihad Stadium, the Gunners may well be first again. They will move back to the summit of the standings if they beat Chelsea on Tuesday – a likely outcome given how wretched the Blues have been of late.
Arsenal’s only hope is that City get distracted by other competitions. Guardiola’s team are targeting a treble of Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup.
A European semi-final against Real Madrid will be exacting. The first leg of that tie is scheduled for next Tuesday, before which City must face West Ham and Leeds United.
In truth, those are ideal fixtures for the champions – even more so because both games are at the Etihad. Indeed, it is hard to see City slipping up here.
Manchester City vs West Ham United betting tips
Manchester City should extend their winning run to nine matches by overcoming West Ham United at the Eithad Stadium.
Manchester City to win both halves – 5/4 (bet365)
It would be a surprise if West Ham finished in the bottom three, but they should not take their Premier League status for granted. David Moyes’ men are by no means safe yet.
In truth, a 4-3 loss to Crystal Palace on Saturday flattered the Hammers. All three of their goals came from corners, and Palace were far superior in open play.
That win secured survival for the south Londoners, but West Ham are still not over the line. At the time of writing they are five points clear of the drop zone, but that gap will narrow after the Monday night game between Leicester City and Everton.
West Ham’s fate may well remain undecided until the final couple of weeks of the campaign. After this tricky trip to the Etihad, the Hammers will lock horns with Manchester United on Sunday.
Those are two tough games for a team that has underachieved this season. Moyes will not go as far as writing Wednesday’s match off, but he could choose to prioritise the game against United at the London Stadium.
West Ham have struggled on the road all campaign. They have just won just three matches at opposition stadiums in 2022/23. Only Wolverhampton Wanderers, Everton, Leeds United and Nottingham Forest have worse records on the road as of Monday morning.
If Palace were able to score four times against West Ham, Manchester City should have far too much attacking quality for them in this midweek encounter.
Over 3.5 goals – 11/10 (bet365)
For all their shortcomings, West Ham are capable of creating chances. They sit ninth in the expected goals table and would not be involved in the basement battle had they been less profligate in and around the penalty area.
With an attacking trident of Jarrod Bowen, Michail Antonio and Said Benrahma supported by Lucas Paqueta and Declan Rice, West Ham could cause Manchester City one or two problems on the break.
They will have to spend much of the match defending, however, and there is a good chance that the home team will overwhelm their visitors.
A probable front four of Riyad Mahrez, Julian Alvarez, Jack Grealish and Erling Haaland will take some stopping.
Even if Guardiola shuffles his pack, he has top-class talent such as Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva waiting in the wings.
Moyes has a tendency towards tactical caution and he will instruct his team to sit back in a narrow and compact block.
But City have the guile to unseat deep-lying defensive units, and once they break the deadlock they should have more and more joy. This promises to be a goal-laden affair.
Julian Alvarez to score any time – 20/21 (bet365)
Haaland scored his 50th goal of the campaign against Fulham on Sunday.
Thirty-four of those strikes have come in the Premier League, and one more would break the division’s single-season record.
As ever, there is little value in backing Haaland to find the back of the net any time. Instead, look at Alvarez.
The Argentina international scored a sensational goal at Craven Cottage. He will surely keep his place in the starting XI with Kevin De Bruyne out injured.
At £14m, Alvarez looks like one of the bargains of the last couple of years. The World Cup winner dovetails well with Haaland and he should frequently get into scoring positions against West Ham.
The 23-year-old can make the net bulge again on Wednesday night.
How to watch Manchester City vs West Ham United
- Location: Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England.
- Date and time: Wednesday 3 May 2023, 8pm.
- How to watch: Sky Sports Main Event & Sky Sports Premier League.
About the author
Greg Lea is a freelance football writer from London. He predominantly covers the Premier League and has had work published by the Guardian, FourFourTwo, ESPN and others.
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