The last time these two sides met in the Spring, City was clinching a title. In 2015, with a single point behind third place within reach, Manchester City have the opportunity to get a win at home against West Ham on Sunday. In recent years the latter half of that statement would have been an absolute, but with recent events being as they are, absolutes are out of the door.
Reeling from last week's loss against those other guys from across the way, City have yet again gone through another week of introspective analysis, managerial questions, and injury reports. But with every new match comes the opportunity to mend the wounds, if not for a week. The last time City and West Ham met resulted in a City loss in October at Upton Park, the same week that saw United and Chelsea meet, and also the same week that saw City draw against Russia's CSKA Moscow in the Champions League. Cliche often has us look to the past for the future's result, but West Ham has never pulled a double on City in their team's history, and Big Sam's Hammers are in as inconsistent of a form as City are, one could hope that the support at the Etihad will help dictate City's play during the match.
This match will come down to if City is bothered to play, something that hasn't seemed to be the case over the past month. Manuel Pellegrini is all but out of the door, especially now that Klopp has surprised the footballing world with his decision to leave BVB and triggering a domino effect in all the clubs looking to change bosses. It's another match that was not supposed to be this crucial but has turned out as such.
City haven't lost three matches in a month in the Premier League since November 2008, and with Liverpool on their heels for fourth place, a win is essential for standings and club morale. West Ham and Stoke drew in a tough match last weekend, so expect the Hammers to come out defending and playing the counter as most clubs have done and found success this campaign. Pellegrini mentioned that City would be without five crucial players in this match, Captain Vincent Kompany, Bony, Clichy, Jovetic, and James Milner, so expect a 4-5-1 formation.
Hart, Kolarov, Demichelis, Boyata, Zabaleta, Fernandino, Toure, Silva, Navas, Nasri, Aguero
Caballero, Sagna, Mangala, Fernando, Lampard, Pozo, Dzeko