Manchester City will be aiming to take a giant stride towards securing the Premier League title when they travel to the London Stadium to face West Ham United this afternoon.
City, who beat West Ham 2-1 in the reverse fixture at the Etihad Stadium back in November, will be going in search of a third successive victory after recent triumphs over Newcastle United and Wolves respectively. Pep Guardiola’s side scored ten goals across those two matches, meaning they have suffered no hangover from their heartbreaking Champions League exit to Real Madrid almost a fortnight ago.
A win for them this afternoon will move them six points clear of Liverpool at the top of the table with just one game left to play. The Reds, however, still have two games to play, meaning City cannot wrap up the title this afternoon.
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But although City will arrive in the capital brimming with confidence after back-to-back wins, scoring five goals in each, they will have to get the better of a Hammers side still striving for Europa League qualification. David Moyes’ side will also be aiming to post a second straight win after last Sunday’s crushing 4-0 win at already-relegated Norwich City.
Therefore, City will not be allowed to underestimate the Hammers, who have already beaten Liverpool on their own patch this season. To potentially make matters worse, City face something of a defensive crisis, with John Stones and Ruben Dias unavailable and uncertainty surrounding Aymeric Laporte’s availability.
But how do City’s fans want the Blues to line-up this afternoon? MEN Sports have taken a close look at what they have voted for using our interactive widget.
Unsurprisingly, the supporters have voted for Ederson to start in goal, with the Brazilian having started all but one of City’s Premier League matches this season. However, it is in defense where the biggest decision will have to be made, largely down to City sweating over the availability of Laporte.
Seemingly, the supporters do not feel confident that the Spaniard will win his fitness battle, meaning they want youngster Luke Mbete to earn his first Premier League appearance at centre-back alongside Nathan Ake. Mbete has been on the bench for four of City’s last five league matches but has not been called upon by Guardiola.
Should he start, it would mean two alterations from the back-four that started against Wolves, with Fernandinho, who also faces a fitness battle, and Laporte dropping out. Ake stepped off the bench in midweek.
In midfield, the supporters want to see one change made, with Rodri dropping out of the side. They want to see Bernardo Silva drop back into the midfield after starting up front on Wednesday. They want him to join Ilkay Gundogan and Kevin De Bruyne in the engine room.
Up front, the fans are hoping to see Guardiola make three changes from the side that started at Molineux, with Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden dropping out of the team. They want to see Riyad Mahrez, Gabriel Jesus and Jack Grealish all come in and spearhead the attack.
Starting line-up City’s supporters want to see vs West Ham: Edison; Cancelo, Ake, Mbete, Zinchenko; Gundogan, Bernardo, De Bruyne; Mahrez, Jesus, Grealish.
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