By April 26, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

Manchester City vs. West Ham United: Preview And Prediction

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Mohamed Diamé of West Ham United (Wikimedia Commons)

Mohamed Diamé of West Ham United (Wikimedia Commons)

Manchester City will welcome West Ham United to Etihad Stadium on Saturday as City continues their quest for a top four finish and Champions League qualification.

With Manchester United having officially captured the Premiership title with a 3-0 victory over Aston Villa on Monday, City will consider this season a failure after the success they saw last season. Still, with a Champions League spot and FA Cup title on the line, the Sky Blues, in fact, do have a lot left to play for this season.

The current standings see City in second place with 68 points and five matches to go, but with the 3rd, 4th, and 5th place teams all within seven points, the Sky Blues are not out of the woods yet. Luckily, they clearly have the easiest schedule left among the teams fighting for a top four finish so if they continue their strong play they should have no trouble qualifying for next season’s Champions League.

On top of the remaining Premiership schedule, City also, and maybe more importantly at this point has the FA Cup final to look forward to. They will face Wigan at Wembley Stadium on May 11th for the trophy and are highly favored over a team that currently sits 18th in the Premiership and had a surprisingly easy road the final. If City can capture the FA Cup title for the second time in three years, the “failure” of the Premiership season should be a little easier to swallow.

For West Ham, who currently sits comfortably in 10th in the table, the remaining four matches have little to no meaning besides for the sake of pride. The team has had a very successful season after being promoted from the Championship and with 42 points, could finish ahead of the likes of Fulham, Sunderland, and Newcastle, which is to be applauded.

As they travel to Manchester on Saturday with nothing to lose, The Hammers will most likely play free flowing attacking football and have a looseness that often brings out the best in teams. Unfortunately, this style of football also lends itself to a porous defense. Manchester City clearly has the advantage in talent and home pitch, but with a little bit of a cushion in the league and a very important FA Cup final coming up, Roberto Mancini may decide to rest key players, which could give West Ham an even better fighting chance.

Clearly City should win Saturday’s match, but with a team in West Ham with nothing to lose, you never know what can happen. Unfortunately, with the home pitch advantage and simply superior talent even on the bench, City will be too much and The Hammers won’t have an answer.

Prediction

Manchester City 3-0 West Ham

 

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