As Chelsea have just beaten Manchester United at Stamford Bridge earlier in the day, City look alive for the rest of the season. A 4 point gap between City and United could be decreased to just 1 point if City can dispose of the Hammers at home on Sunday. The situation looks quite good because 4 of the next 6 matches for the rest of the Premier League season are at home, where City are intimidating. Out of the next 4 home matches, the next 2 could prove to tilt third place in favor of City.
First, winning against West Ham brings City to only one point, as mentioned before. Second, if City beat Villa and then United loses or draws away at Goodison Park against the Toffees, then City will have control of its destiny. What City must do to qualify for Champions League is simply surpass United. City will not reach Chelsea or Arsenal, so if City can do just that, City will qualify for the Champions League directly, instead of having to qualifying in the first rounds.
First, let's look at West Ham. West Ham have suffered a very inconsistent 2015. Since losing to Arsenal a month ago, West Ham have defeated Sunderland, lost to Leicester City and drawn against Stoke. This proves how inconsistent West Ham can be. With Man City playing bad football lately, it seems that this tie could prove to be a close one, when in reality, based on finance and standing, City would be able to win. In the end, City, with home ground advantage, will defeat the Hammers on Sunday 2-0.
Now let's look at Aston Villa. Since manager Tim Sherwood arrived at Villa Park, the Clarets have undergone a type of revival. After teetering inside and slightly out of the relegation zone, Sherwood has managed to raise Villa into 15th place. 15th place isn't the most relaxed position, but is stable enough to keep Villa in the Premier League for next season. With this in mind, City must be aware of the survival of Christian Benteke. Christian Benteke has scored 8 goals for Villa since Tim Sherwood took over. With this great strike rate, City will need to keep Benteke quiet, and with defense being in bad shape, it could prove to be a tough day containing him. In the end, City will win 3-1.
It is clear that City can still make a statement. Though they have not played well this season, especially in 2015, City have third place in their hands if they defeat Villa and West Ham and hope that United trip up against Everton.