West Ham vs Man City news: Can Hammers hold up Pep's title party?

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With Liverpool not in Premier League action this weekend, Manchester City can move six points clear, if they win at West Ham, with the Reds just having two games left to play.

Even if Liverpool keep winning, Pep Guardiola's side would need just a point at home to Aston Villa to fully confirm the title, with their superior goal difference acting as an extra buffer.

The Irons still have something to play for in their final home game of the season, with the Europa League still within reach.

David Moyes' side are just three points behind Manchester Utd with a game in hand so could still get themselves back into the second tier of European football after their excellent run to the semis this season.

The other big talking point in this game is West Ham captain Mark Noble's final home game of his long loyal career. There won't be a dry eye in the house...especially if City drop points.

When: Sunday 15 May, 2022 (14:00 BST)

Where: The London Stadium

How to watch: Sky Sports Premier League, Sky Sports Main Event

Follow this game via our score centre

Who is the referee for West Ham vs Man City?

Anthony Taylor takes charge of the game that could be definitive in the title race and it'll be the fourth time he's taken charge of both sides this season. West Ham lost 3-1 at Spurs, beat Wolves 1-0 at home and lost 2-0 at Arsenal when Taylor sent off Vladimir Coufal and also gave a penalty against the Hammers. In what West Ham will hope is an omen, Man City have failed to win any of the three games Taylor has been in charge of them in the league this season. Taylor presided over both games City lost against Tottenham this season, starting with the 1-0 win in London back in August. Taylor also gave a penalty against Man City as he took charge of their 3-2 home defeat against Spurs in February, while he was also in the middle for their draw against Crystal Palace.

Premier League stats: Matches: 25, Yellows: 91, reds: 5, Pens: 8

Recent form

The Hammers suffered four defeats on the spin as they tumbled out of the Europa League and out of top four contention domestically. It was the worst possible time for Moyes' men to hit a wall as what promised to be a fine season is in danger of fizzling out.

A 4-0 win over Norwich last time out shook them out of their slump and if they can get something here and get back into Europe it will have to go down as another successful season.

City have just blown away the opposition recently, becoming the first English top flight team to win five straight games by three goals or more. The standard in the Premier League may not be as high as many think, but City are on another level even if their closing fixture list has been kind.

Everyone bar Liverpool has to give so much just to keep this City side at bay, that if they're not right up for it they'll get cut apart. Teams coasting towards the end of the season have been cannon fodder.

Players in form

Jarrod Bowen has been West Ham's go-to guy all season as he's become the first Hammer to reach 10 goals and 10 assists in a Premier League season since Paolo Di Canio in 1999/2000.

Bowen had two more assists against Norwich as Said Benrahma grabbed two goals and Michail Antonio bagged his first Premier League goal since New Year's Day.

Kevin De Bruyne has just been out of this world down the final stretch, hitting a rich vein of form that few players in the world could match.

If City do win this title as expected then the Belgian will be the main reason why after his incredible four-goal haul at Wolves showcased his immense talent.

It's his best tally of 19 goals this season and there should be a few more before the campaign is over.

Past meetings

City won the reverse fixture 2-1 at the Etihad but they largely dominated that encounter and West Ham only got their goal deep into stoppage time. Guardiola's side also won 2-1 at the Etihad last season, when they needed both centre backs John Stones and Ruben Dias to grab the goals either side of a Michail Antonio strike. It's been a draw the last two times the teams have met at the London Stadium, with the last fixture somehow ending goalless in the Carabao Cup this season. West Ham won on penalties as Phil Foden missed from the spot, after City had 25 shots during the game but failed to convert. The last league meeting here also ended in a draw, this time a 1-1 as Foden scored in the second half to cancel out an Antonio opener.

Managers thoughts

West Ham boss David Moyes spoke about Declan Rice: "With the exception of maybe Harry Kane in the second half of the season, I think Declan Rice has been the pick of the England players who played in the Euros last year.

"I hope he continues to get better. He's got lots of improvement in him. He'll have learned a lot from Mark Noble in leadership. He's a young man and he'll get better with experience."

Man City boss Pep Guardiola on defensive injuries: "I said many times we have to handle these absences.

"If it was many months it would be a big problem but one or two games - we saw against Wolves, we get through. "It could be better but if you had to handle these absences for many months we would be in big trouble, but for one or two games, it's OK."

Predicted teams

Said Benrahma is a doubt for West Ham after being injured during his two-goal showing against Norwich, while the Hammers are also worried about knocks to Michail Antonio and Craig Dawson.

It's Mark Noble's final home game for West Ham but he's likely to start on the bench. City's defensive injuries continue to pile up as Fernandinho and Aymeric Laporte picked up knocks against Wolves. If neither can make it then Rodri and Nathan Ake will line-up at centre back against West Ham.

Possible West Ham starting line-up: Fabianski, Coufal, Dawson, Zouma, Cresswell, Soucek, Rice, Fornals, Lanzini, Bowen, Antonio

Manchester City possible starting line-up: Ederson; Cancelo, Rodri, Ake, Zinchenko; Silva, Gundogan, De Bruyne; Mahrez, Jesus, Sterling

West Ham vs Man City prediction

Injuries at the back would be a big concern for Man City had they come a month ago, but with just a couple of games left they should be fine. Nathan Ake cost £41m so you'd think had can handle two games playing in a team that will have about 70 percent possession. Guardiola's side have more than enough going forward and in midfield to make sure they can cover for a few missing players at the back.

The stadium roof would come off if Noble came off the bench to tuck away a late penalty winner, but that's unlikely...unless the football Gods are in a particulary good mood. But West Ham already used that card up with Andriy Yarmolenko's poignant goal against Aston Villa.

West Ham have the potential to make life difficult, but as we've seen recently if the motivation levels aren't at 100 percent then City will shred them. Then there's the prospect of having to stop De Bruyne when he's in this mood. City have more than enough to get the job done.

The article West Ham vs Man City news: Can Hammers hold up Pep's title party? appeared first on Planetsport.com.

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