Manchester City return to action since they were hit by UEFA with a two-year Champions League ban and one will feel they should make a statement when they play hosts to troubled West Ham.
Premier League 2019/2020
Date: Sunday 9th, February
Kick-off: 17: 30pm
Venue: Etihad Stadium
TV Channel: Sky Sports
Manchester City and Pep Guardiola went down 2-0 to Tottenham before embarking on their winter break, as their bid to put daylight between them and the rest of the chasing pack took another hit.
The last time the Citizens lost six games in a league season (2016/2017), they finished third behind Chelsea and Spurs, while they only pipped their city rivals, United to a fourth place by virtue of goal difference when they lost more than six the season before.
There are no prizes for guessing they will not retain the title this season after they went 25 points adrift of potential champions, Liverpool who beat Norwich last weekend, but can they just about manage to get over the finish line and finish as runner-ups?
The defeat at Tottenham made it the second in succession in all competitions, and the first time they failed to find the net in their last 24 games on the road.
West Ham are sinking without trace, and with no wins in their last five league matches (LDLLD), their chances of avoiding the drop continue to dwindle with every game they play.
The Hammers looked on course to stop the rot when they led Brighton 3-1 at home, but somehow blew their healthy lead to draw 3-3.
What more? Their fixture schedule makes for grim reading as they face five teams currently in the top half of the table in their next six league games, including Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham.
Oleksandr Zinchenko was sent off against Tottenham last weekend, and is thus suspended for this game.
Raheem Sterling also limped off with a hamstring complain in that game and is viewed as a doubt alongside Benjamin Mendy.
Leroy Sané has returned to training but this game should come too soon following his lengthy layoff.
Head to Head
In 110 previous competitive meetings, Manchester City have 56 wins to West Ham’s 37. 17 games have been drawn.
There have been over 2.5 scored in 11 of the last 12 matches between these two sides in all competitions.
Manchester City are unbeaten in 31 of their last 34 home matches in the Premier League.
West Ham have lost their last three away league matches.
Manchester will be looking to get back to winning ways here, and this one presents them with the best chance. They have won four of their last five league games prior to the Tottenham defeat. Manchester City’s last five league games (WWDWL)
West Ham are winless in their last five league games, and have lost three of those games. West Ham’s last five league games (LDLLD)
Manchester City will probably try to fly out of the blocks as quickly as they can in this game, a move which will lend itself to goals. They have not been particularly eye-catching in keeping the goals out too, so we could get to see West Ham grab some for themselves too. Thus, over 2.5 match goals at 1/4 is our first pick for the suggested bets for punters.
And then, City to be leading at halftime and fulltime is another value option worth picking on, and at odds of 4/9 is large enough for this game of limited value markets.
You can view all other betting markets for this game here