Manchester City travel to West Ham, knowing that a win in East London will put them within one point of claiming a second consecutive Premier League title. In fact, three points at the London Stadium, coupled with Liverpool dropping points in their match at Southampton will see City crowned champions on Tuesday and life the trophy in their final match against Aston Villa next weekend.
But first, City must navigate their way past a West Ham side, who have excelled this season and are looking for a place in next season’s Europa League. They currently trail Manchester United by three points, but defeat on Sunday will not rule out their chances of qualification. The have a greater goal difference than the Stretford Rangers, and a win on the final day, together with a possible defeat for United at Crystal Palace, will see the Hammers qualify and send United into the Conference League.
A 4-0 win at Norwich last weekend ended a dismal run of four straight defeats, however, their form since March is the reason why the Hammers are not challenging for a better Premier League placing. Their win at Norwich was only their third Premier League victory since beating Aston Villa 2-1 in March and Everton by the same score in April.
From nine Premier League matches, West Ham have lost five, but just one has been at home. That was a 2-1 loss to Arsenal, but their previous home league match was a 1-1 draw with struggling Burnley.
Overall, the Hammers have a decent home record this season. They have won nine of their eighteen matches and lost just five. They have scored thirty-one goals and conceded twenty-four, a goal difference of +7.
Jarrod Bowen is West Ham’s top scorer with sixteen this season. Bowen leads the way with shots attempted with seventy-seven and has a shot accuracy of 61% and a goal conversion rate of 21%. Michail Antonio is next with twelve goals from sixty-nine shots. Although usually quite lethal in front of goal, Antonio has a goal conversion rate of just 17%.
Mark Noble, who is set to leave the club after eighteen years, has scored two goals from five shots, and has a shot accuracy of 100%. He may fancy a final goal in front of his home crowd on Sunday.
Bowen and Antonio also lead the way with the assists, with Bowen slightly ahead of his strike partner. Bowen has eleven to Antonio’s ten, and it seems that if the blues want to get anything from Sunday’s match, they need to stop the pair.
The other star City need to be wary of is Declan Rice. The England midfielder has attempted the most passes out of the whole team with 2,889. With 2,641 passes complete, Rice has a pass accuracy of 91%, which is slightly less than Manuel Lanzini on 92%.
Who’s the Boss?
David Moyes have turned West Ham’s fortunes around since he replaced former City boss Manuel Pellegrini in December 2019. He guided the Hammers into the Europa League, and all the way to the semi-final, where the were beaten by an aggregate score of 3-1 by Eintracht Frankfurt.
Moyes has presided over 119 matches, winning fifty-four and losing forty-two, giving him a win ratio of 45%.
Last Time Out
Goals by Ilkay Gundogan and Fernandinho gave City a 2-0 lead, and a last-minute goal by Lanzini gave the Hammers a more respectable scoreline.