Oct 18, 2013, 11:40 AM EST
- Manchester City have picked up just one point from three PL away games this season
- City have won 28 and drawn 2 of the 30 PL games in which Sergio Aguero has scored
- West Ham have failed to score in four of their opening seven games
After an up and down start to the season, West Ham United host Manchester City on Saturday (12:30pm ET, watch live on NBC and online via NBC Sports Live Extra) in a tense encounter at Upton Park in London’s East End.
West Ham are looking to avoid three straight defeats at home, while Manuel Pellegrini’s side are looking to pick up their first PL away win of the season.
The Hammers have struggled to score goals, with forward Andy Carroll still sidelined through injury and others not stepping up to the plate in his absence. However their cutting edge returned against Tottenham before the international break, as the Irons hammered London rivals Spurs 3-0 at White Hart Lane.
Perhaps they’ve turned the corner? With England U-21 star Ravel Morrison flourishing in midfield and Jussi Jaaskelainen playing superbly in goal, they are solid yet unspectacular. But, can City break them down with the vast array of attacking talents they possess?
On the road Pellegrini’s men have struggled this campaign, losing to Cardiff City and Aston Villa and grabbing a 0-0 draw at Stoke. They desperately need some good form away from the Etihad to help compliment their sensational home record which has seen them win all four game so far. Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko, Stevan Jovetic and Alvaro Negredo give them plenty of firepower, but can Joe Hart and City’s defense hold firm against a fired up West Ham side?
As for the teams news, West Ham are still missing star striker Carroll who has flown to Belgium this week to see a foot specialist, while James Collins and recently re-signed Carlton Cole will both miss out. For Manchester City, captain Vincent Kompany is still out injured and summer signing Martin Demichelis is making progress but won’t return just yet.
What they’re saying
Sam Allardyce on facing Manchester City: “We’ve just got to play our best and I’ve always said that if you play your best against Manchester City sometimes it’s not enough but as long as we do our best and we catch Manchester City on a relatively off day we can get a result. If we can’t we can probably still play our very best and still lose the game.”
Manuel Pellegrini on Man City’s poor away form: “Of course we are worried about that. I think we should have more points away from home the way we are playing, but the reality is that we have one point from nine. We need to win tomorrow. We now play four games away from home, and what happened at Cardiff and Aston Villa wasn’t because we weren’t prepared for a hostile crowd. We played well in those games, and we must rearrange unnecessary fouls and mistakes and then continue to play the way we are right now.”
All signs point towards a draw at Upton Park, with West Ham’s physical approach and a passionate home following spurring the Hammers on. With City’s recent struggles on the road, some may suggest West Ham can win this game but I think the pace and skill of Aguero and Negredo up front will be too much for the Hammers to handle. I’m going for an away win, as City will finally pick up their first victory on the road.
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