Manchester City Match Preview
By Tom Dowsett
Wednesday 19 Feb 2020 14:43:00
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After being thumped 5-0 by Manchester City on the opening day of the season in Stratford, West Ham United went on a six-game unbeaten run in the Premier League which saw them occupy fourth place by the end of September. Since then however, the season has taken a turn for the worst ahead of facing Josep Guardiola's men at The Etihad Stadium tonight.

The Hammers have lost valuable points over the last month and now come up against the Citizens lying in the relegation zone. Having said that, they did pick up an unexpected victory at Chelsea back in November but going to Manchester, with the hosts having suffered back-to-back defeats in all competitions, means it could be another tricky day on the road for their ever-loyal fan base.

City were in red hot form when the two teams met here last campaign and a disputed penalty was all it took to separate the two sides, meaning that former Citizens' boss Manuel Pellegrini left his old club empty-handed.

Despite a win at Southampton on 14 December, the terrible form under Pellegrini was to continue and after sacking the Chilean later in the month, the hierarchy turned back to David Moyes as they looked for an upturn in the team's fortunes.

Both sides go into this encounter off the back of disappointing results with the Hammers twice letting slip a two-goal advantage to draw 3-3 at home to Brighton and Hove Albion on 1 February, while Guardiola's men fell to a 2-0 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur a day later.

Moyes has added two new faces to his backroom staff and they will join him and assistant Alan Irvine on the sidelines here. Former Captain Kevin Nolan, along with Paul Nevin were confirmed as first-team coaches on 6 February.

Deadline day signing Jarrod Bowen could come into the side to partner either Michail Antonio or Sébastien Haller upfront, while Pablo Fornals could start after coming on from the bench against the Seagulls.

Felipe Anderson was a doubt for the original fixture ten days ago because of rib and back problems but has sufficiently recovered and may be in contention to make the matchday squad.

The match is a 7:30pm kick-off and as they were meant to be ten days ago, Sky Sports will be screening coverage with build-up starting at 7pm. The referee is Kevin Friend.

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