Second-placed Manchester City welcome London club West Ham to the Etihad in one of the only four games scheduled for the weekend (7th February to 9th February). The Premier League is trialling a winter break system that will see games staggered over two weeks, whereby each team has at least 13 days of rest. Manchester City will be keen to hold on to second place and not be drawn into any distracting top-four battle, as the latter stages of the Champions League creep in. West Ham, on the other hand, are fighting for their survival in the league. Here is our betting tip.
Back to back EPL champions are 99.9% sure to lose their title thanks to the unstoppable train of Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool. While the men from the Kop have been brilliant, Pep Guardiola’s men have oscillated between great and awful, no in-betweens. The Citizens have lost six games already this season, the same number of games they lost altogether in the past two seasons. Part of the problem has been the backline. Already, Manchester City have conceded 29 goals in 25 matches. For context, they conceded 23 goals last season and 27 goals in all games the season before that. Also, for comparison’s sake, Liverpool have only conceded 15 goals.
This season, the Citizens have won 16 of their 25 matches, with three draws and six losses to complement. In those games, they have scored 65 goals – the best tally in the division – for a goal difference of 36. The Etihad has also not been the fortress it used to be. In 12 home matches, they’ve lost two matches and drawn two, for a win percentage of 67%. In those home games they’ve scored 31 goals and conceded 12 goals. Pep’s men come into this match off the back of a 2-0 win against Tottenham, in a match they dominated for about an hour before the game turned on its head after the red card to Zinchenko. Effectively, their poor finishing, a recurring theme this season, and a penalty miss, also contributed to the team’s consecutive losses.
West Ham come into this match in 18th position on the table, and face the unfortunate prospect of being relegated if they can’t string together good results for the rest of the season. The Hammers have 24 points from 25 matches and are one point behind the safety line. They have won six matches, drawn six and lost 13, scoring 30 and conceding 43 goals. In 12 away matches, the London club has three wins, three draws and six losses. In those matches, they have scored only 10 goals and conceded 18 goals. However, bearing in mind how congested the lower half of the EPL table is, David Moyes’ men will know that a run of good results can see the team catapulted out of the danger zone.
That said, the fixture line up for the next seven league fixtures include six of the current top eight teams in the division. Their results during this run will give an indication of whether the Hammers will be playing Championship football next season or not. They were winless in six consecutive competitive games, losing four times in that sequence. Moyes’ men have also lost their last three away matches, including ones against Crystal Palace and Sheffield United.
Manchester City have a good record against West Ham, winning their last three encounters at the Etihad, and the reverse fixture convincingly in a 5-0 drubbing at the London Stadium. However, the question is, which Manchester City will turn up? If the assured take-your-chances team turns up, then it could be a difficult afternoon for David Moyes’ team, who will no doubt look to frustrate Pep Guardiola’s team with a defensive-first approach. That said, we expect goals to be plenty in this fixture. Three of West Ham’s last five goals have ended with more than 2.5 goals, while the same can be said of Manchester City too. Betway offers the following odds: over 2.5 goals – 1.24 odds; over 3.5 goals – 1.61 odds. You can use the Betway App for your betting needs. For more information on the bookmaker take a look at our Betway review.
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