West Ham will be looking to continue their good Premier League form when they welcome Manchester City to the London Stadium on Saturday.
The atmosphere around the Hammers was certainly gloomy at the beginning of the season, with supporters upset about the lack of investment in the playing squad and the sale of promising academy graduate Grady Diangana to West Brom.
Coupled with the club’s flirt with relegation last season and defeats in their opening two Premier League games, there were some of claret and blue persuasion who were fearing the worst this campaign.
But optimism has returned to East London after an impressive run of form which sees David Moyes’ side unbeaten in three top flight matches.
Impressive if somewhat unexpected wins over Wolves and Leicester City have changed the vibe around West Ham for the better, with the Hammers netting 7 goals without reply in 4-0 and 3-0 wins respectively.
It was the comeback against Tottenham Hotspur last time out which raised the most eyebrows though, with David Moyes’ side mounting a brilliant late resurgence against Spurs despite being 3-0 behind.
Manuel Lanzini’s 94th minute thunderbolt was one of three goals in the final 12 minutes of the game at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to ensure West Ham secured a memorable point.
The Hammers will likely be heading in to this home clash with more confidence than usual, as they face a Manchester City side who have scored 8 goals without response in the last 3 Premier League meetings between the sides.
West Ham can take solace in their recent form and that they will kick off this game ahead of Pep Guardiola’s side in the table – but they may also be scarred by the last clash with the visitors at the London Stadium in August 2019 which resulted in a 0-5 thrashing – their 8th league loss to City on the spin.
In fact, West Ham have won just 9 of their 38 Premier League games against City, with 6 of those victories coming pre-2008, the year Sheikh Mansour invested in the Manchester club.
City travel to London off the back of a 3-1 Champions League victory over Porto in their opening group game, with Sergio Aguero back amongst the goals after injury and Ferran Torres scoring his first for the club.
Pep Guardiola will be hoping that the victory in Europe will be a catalyst to resolve patchy Premier League form, with his side going into the game below West Ham in the table for the first time in 11 years.
However, the City boss will have to do without Fernandinho for the short term, as the Brazilian has been ruled out for 6 weeks with injury.
It is one of a host of fitness issues for the club, who only had 13 fit players for their last Premier League game before the international break.
Key City players like Nathan Ake, Gabriel Jesus, Benjamin Mendy, Kevin De Bruyne and Aymeric Laporte are also all doubtful for the game with West Ham.
Guardiola will be thankful that Raheem Sterling is fit and available though, with the England man having been directly involved in 11 goals against West Ham in his last 6 starts, including a hattrick in this very fixture last season.
Hammers manager David Moyes could hand a debut to new signing Said Benrahma, whose move from Brentford was just about scrambled over the line earlier this month after complications with the deal.
The Scottish boss may have no choice but to play new boy Benrahma, with West Ham sweating on the fitness of forwards Sebastien Haller and Michail Antonio – the latter coming off against Spurs with a tight hamstring.
West Ham United v Manchester City is a 1230 kick off on Saturday 24th October.