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West Ham United vs Manchester, 2017 Premier League: Team News, Preview, Predictions

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City travel to the London Stadium looking to heat up the Top 4 race

West Ham United v Manchester City - The Emirates FA Cup Third Round Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

So things just got very interesting for City on Tuesday. The four best teams in the Premier League all played, and all of them dropped points. Chelsea and Liverpool drew at Anfield, Arsenal lost at home to Watford (WHAT A SHOCK!!!) and Tottenham Hotspur failed to beat Sunderland on the road.

As things stand, this is still Chelsea's title to lose and they look more and more like the favorites. For City, the title is a distant hope, but all these results are immense for the team in the race for a Champions League spot. The run of inconsistent results and poor performances from Pep Guardiola's men created a huge concern for Sky Blue fans, especially as the other five teams involved in the European race looked very good.

All of a sudden, Liverpool can't win anymore, Tottenham were dominated by City and didn't beat possibly the worst team in the league, and Arsenal did an Arsenal. Along with Manchester United, City can heat up the Top Four race even more if they can win at London Stadium.

West Ham's home was the site of a vintage City performance, a spectacular 5-0 that saw the Citizens play exactly like Pep Guardiola wants them too. It won't be easy to repeat that game against Slaven Bilic's side this time. The Hammers picked up their form lately and will be a much tougher opponent.

Still, no matter how difficult West Ham make this game, this is one City should win if they want to truly make a statement of their intentions this season. Can they do it?

liverpool blog fc sbn

TEAM NEWS

Ilkay Gundogan (out for the season) is the only absence for this game. It's crazy that the entire team is available, but that's the truth. Fernandinho is back from suspension, Fabian Delph and Vincent Kompany survived 90 minutes against Crystal Palace without injuries, and players like Kevin De Bruyne, John Stones and Sergio Agüero were rested to be fully fit for the trip to London.

Claudio Bravo will get his starting spot back, which is probably not good news but is the reality, so all we got to do is pray and hope he doesn't screw up this time. Gabriel Jesus will be fighting for a starting spot, but Pep might choose to take a slow approach with the Brazilian's adaptation process. He was wonderful for 90 minutes in his full debut at Palace, but throwing him into another game from the start just four days later may not be the best idea.

A full squad gives Pep a million different options of formation/personnel, so we have to wait until the lineups are announced to get an idea of his plans for the game. He'll try to repeat the performance from that 5-0 win, but he might use different formation and players. Interesting times.

liverpool blog fc sbn

POSSIBLE LINEUPS

liverpool blog fc sbn

PREDICTION

The team looks good, healthy, and ready to show the rest of the Top 6 that City are more than alive in the race. We'll suffer a bit, but we'll win 4-1 and make a statement.