Prediction & odds for the game: Manchester City (1/8) v West Ham (16/1)
When: Wednesday, 19th February 2020 @ 7.30pm K.O
Where: Etihad Stadium
Manchester City’s turbulent campaign continues as they prepare to host West Ham United in their rearranged Premier League clash.
The revelation that Manchester City will be banned from playing in the Champions League for two seasons due to FFP violations has well and truly sent shockwaves throughout English football. While a whole lot of people may have believed that there was something fishy going on, few could’ve imagined that this would be the punishment that was handed down. Now, Pep Guardiola’s biggest task will be trying to re-focus his team given that they’re still competing in four different competitions this season.
Back to back losses against Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur have ensured that this has been a long winter break for City – even though they went through to the Carabao Cup final during the loss to United. Prior to that they also picked up a disappointing draw against Crystal Palace to go alongside three wins in four against Aston Villa, Sheffield United and Fulham.
David Moyes’ return to the London Stadium hasn’t really given the Hammers the sort of lift they needed in the relegation battle, and now, they find themselves in the bottom three with just a few months left to go before the season comes to an end. They’ll probably be writing off the upcoming games against Manchester City and Liverpool before they’ve even happened, when in reality, they just need to go for it and hope for the best along the way.
It’s been a miserable few weeks for West Ham both in the league and in the FA Cup, with West Bromwich Albion knocking them out of the latter. In the Premier League they were left disappointed to only pick up a point against Brighton & Everton, whereas elsewhere, they were beaten by high-flyers Sheffield United, Leicester and Liverpool.
City have a massive chip on their shoulder right now and West Ham United will, unfortunately for them, feel the full force of that. Alas, we still think this team is a little bit too broken to start playing teams off the park – which is why we believe Pep Guardiola will see his side being a bit more conservative if they do take the lead. That may seem odd considering they have nothing to lose at this stage, but we still think confidence is going to be a big issue for them.
We think City will wind up winning the game 1-0 or 2-0, meaning that we’re backing the under 2.5 goals market – but if they do edge ahead early then West Ham could fall apart.
Verdict: Back the home win at odds of 1/8 and the under 2.5 goals scored at odds of 10/3. (All odds are taken from bet365).