So, City is not invincible. Neither are they impenetrable. In fact, they can indeed look ordinary.
Now that the events that shall not be named that occurred on Tuesday over and done with. Manchester City can now look back towards the league that they have found much success over the last six weeks. It should be easy, right? Get back on track against the one team that they've found quite a bit of success with in West Ham and remain perfect to begin their Premiere League campaign.
As we know--it isn't that easy.
West Ham are now fifth in the league and have defeated both Arsenal and Liverpool in their home stadiums. New manager Slaven Bilic has a taken a team that was mostly inherited from Sam Allardyce and added a few key pieces to make them more effective. One of those pieces, French international Dimitri Payet, has been on a tear as of late, and West Ham will look to continue their trend of slaying giants away from their home ground.
Manchester City however, have been quite successful against West Ham over the last few years (only 2 losses since 2007), and after feeling the hangover from Champions League, they will look to return to the form that considered them to be one of the most dangerous teams in Europe. Sergio Aguero will be returning after receiving a slight knock in last week's Crystal Palace game, and it seems as if this would be the perfect time for Kevin de Bruyne to get his first full run out. During the week, City looked out of ideas, and with the presumed start of de Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and David Silva, there should be plenty of ideas to choose from. City will need more from Raheem Sterling, who has seemed to display a bit of apprehension in the last few weeks of play. If Sterling and De Bruyne get going, then the goals should be flying in.
On the defensive side, Captain Vincent Kompany will miss Saturday's match with a calf strain, and starting in his place in an already thinned out back four will be Nico Otamendi. Otamendi was (if you ask me) partly responsible for the goal that sealed Juven.. *cough cough* that thing to happen on Tuesday, so let's hope that he and Mangala can reclaim some of that partnership they had while playing in Porto. After all, with five straight clean sheets in the league, City and their defenders have something they can hang their hat on. Of course, we can't expect the scoreless streak to stay intact forever, but one can only assume that the defenders don't want it to happen on their watch. So much could have been said about Fernandinho's performance during the week, but he can't do it by himself. While Yaya seemed to do a lot more than we're accustomed to, it's up to Fernandinho and Yaya to link the attack together, and it will be key against a team like West Ham, who are quite effective playing the counter.
Look for City to edge out West Ham here, but don't be surprised if Dimitri Payet doesn't do his best to keep that from happening. City are too strong up front to be stifled from multiple goals, and with West Ham missing players like Alex Song in the middle of the park, the attacking four or five players can have their way. This game sets up Tuesday's match with Sunderland perfectly, so momentum and decisiveness is everything. A win would be City's 11th on the bounce, edging them closer to Arsenal's league record win streak of 14. It would be quite nice to knock that out of the books, but as stated every week, the games have to be played.