West Ham v Manchester City
Sunday 1 March 2009,
West Ham United lost 2-1 away against Bolton Wanderers in their last league encounter, making a run of three matches without a league win.
In their last five matches, West Ham have won two (vs Hull City and Fulham), drawn once (vs Arsenal), and lost two (vs Bolton and Manchester United), earning seven points from the fifteen available.
The Hammers scored six goals and conceded four in these matches, as they currently find themselves in 9th place in the league, equal on points with 8th placed Fulham and one point ahead of their 10th placed opponents in this match, Manchester City.
West Ham will be without Boa Morte (groin), Dyer (calf), Ashton (ankle), and Gabbidon (groin), and will also be without Mark Noble due to a one match suspension from yellow card accumulation.
Manchester City drew 1-1 away against Liverpool in their last league match, their second straight league match without a win.
In their last five league matches, Manchester City have won two (v Middlesbrough and Newcastle), drew one (v Liverpool), and lost two (v Portsmouth and Stoke City), gaining seven points from the last fifteen on offer.
Man City scored four and conceded five in these matches, and currently sit 10th in the league, one point behind 9th placed West Ham and one point ahead of 11th placed Sunderland.
Manchester City will be without Fernandes (hamstring), Hamann (ankle), Petrov (knee), and Johnson (groin), with Daniel Sturridge and Benjani Mwaruwari hopeful for a return for this match. Man City will also be without Shaun Wright-Phillips, who will be serving the final of his three match suspension in this fixture.
Manchester City defeated 3-0 at home earlier in this season, and also defeated West Ham 2-0 in last season’s corresponding fixture.
After a recent run that saw them go on a run of six matches without a league loss, West Ham’s form has suddenly stuttered with two consecutive league losses and a defeat at the hands of Middlesbrough in their FA Cup 5th round replay.
The Hammers need to be careful not to return to the form that saw them lose four straight matches and go seven matches without a win in the league, as only five points separate 9th placed West Ham from 16th placed Portsmouth.
West Ham hold a decent home record and have won three of their last six home fixtures, whilst Manchester City have not posted a single victory in their last six matches on the road (and have only won once away this season), so this will undoubtedly offset the Hammers’ current uncertain form to a certain extent.
As such, this match looks set to be closely contested. West Ham will go into the fixture as only very marginal favourites, and a draw or even a surprise Man City away win could very well be on the cards in this encounter.
Read all the weekend previews here.