West Ham United v Manchester City in the lunchtime kick off and we’ve got a couple of special offers…..money back if City score more than one goal or 4/1 City…..money back if you lose!!!!
The Hammers are flying. Eight games in and the east London outfit are sitting very pretty in fourth place after winning half of their Premier League games.
Yes, those wins have come against the likes of Burnley, Crystal Palace and QPR but they convincingly saw off Liverpool at home too and were unfortunate to be on the end of a poor refereeing decision in their 2-1 defeat away at Manchester United.
Manager Sam Allardyce was urged by the club’s hierarchy to play more attractive football this season and has proved a lot of people wrong, including this writer, by actually achieving the board’s request.
The solid base that Allardyce has built over the last three years remains but the addition of genuine class and firepower in the form of Diafra Sakho, Enner Valencia and midfield maestro Alex Song has made a huge difference.
It’s Sakho who has grabbed the headlines with some swashbuckling performances up front.
The powerful striker has scored six goals in seven games in all competitions and is certain to cause a nuisance for the opposition once again this weekend.
West Ham have midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate and defender James Tomkins available again after recovering from injuries but the game has come a little too soon for Andy Carroll, who returned to training this week following an ankle injury.
The statistics may show that City are unbeaten in the last seven games across all competitions but the gap between them and title rivals Chelsea looks pretty mahoosive.
They are already five points off the early pace setters and are hitting nowhere near the heights of Jose Mourinho’s men in terms of their performance level.
The latest stutter in midweek against CSKA Moscow – a dismal 2-2 draw – showed once again that Manuel Pellegrini has yet to really find the right balance within his squad.
City will be nearly at full-strength for their trip to London, with only Frank Lampard and fellow midfielder Samir Nasri nursing knocks.
The Opta trends offer encouragement to Man City, Sergio Aguero and Diafra Sakho backers…
West Ham lost four times to Man City last season
The Irons deserve praise for their start to the campaign, earning their fourth victory in eight games at Burnley last weekend, with Opta imparting that it took them until January to deliver that number last term.
However, it should be noted that three of those four wins were achieved against bottom-five clubs and they have lost three in four against top-half adversaries.
As bolded above, Man City saw off West Ham on four occasions in 2014/15 and were dominant in each contest, prevailing 3-1 and 2-0 in the Premier League collisions and 6-0 and 3-0 in their Capital One Cup semi-final for an aggregate success of 14-1.
Opta add that the Londoners have taken a mere point from the previous six league meetings with their friends from the blue part of Manchester.
Sergio Aguero has scored four away goals in the Premier League this season
Opta reveal that Aguero’s mark of a goal every 108 minutes since moving to Premier League in 2011 is the best of any player to have scored 20 or more in the division’s existence. The Argentine netted three times in two appearances at the Boleyn Ground in 2013/14 and has been in magnificent form recently, converting eight strikes in his past five matches, including four against Tottenham last Saturday lunchtime.
Diafra Sakho is only the second player in Premier League history to score in all of his first five starts
West Ham’s £3.5 million miracle man, who played in the French second tier for Metz a few months ago, is just three goals short of record signing Andy Carroll’s tally for the side despite arriving two years after the Geordie. The Senegalese forward has followed in Mick Quinn’s footsteps with five goals in five Premier League starts and bagged another in the Capital One Cup, and though he has notched against Liverpool and Man United, he will be a big price once more against the champions.
Plus those crazy offers…….