Manchester City predicted team to play West Ham

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Premier League history states that Manchester City v West Ham isn't your typical top four clash, but when the two sides meet at Upton Park on Saturday lunchtime that's exactly what it will be.

Ok, so we're only eight games into the season, but a home win could put the Hammers, who currently occupy the last Champions League spot, within a point of second-placed City.

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So on the back of a nightmare draw in Moscow, what team will Manuel Pellegrini entrust to gain maximum league points and continue the chase of leaders Chelsea?

The result on Tuesday left City's Champions League dream hanging by the thinnest of threads, and that means retaining their Premier League crown has become even more important.

With leaders Chelsea visiting Manchester United on Sunday afternoon, the current champions have a great chance to close the gap on their rivals, providing Pellegrini gets his team selection right.

Stick or twist?

It's hard to see the City boss sticking with the same 11 that surrendered a 2-0 lead in Moscow, but the question is, how many changes will he make, and where?

The team that started against CSKA Moscow showed five changes from that which put four past Tottenham last Saturday, and Pellegrini could be tempted to undo those changes, though he will have to do without the injured Frank Lampard.

Few would criticise him for opting to return to the team that convincingly beat Spurs at the Etihad, but on the face of things West Ham away is a completely different ball game.

Despite being at home, the Hammers will be much more content to soak up pressure and concede the majority of possession before looking to cause damage on the counter attack.


One man who could pay the price for his Tuesday night display is Eliaquim Mangala, the defender who has yet to repeat his superb debut performance against Chelsea.

In Martin Demichelis and Matija Nastasic, City have perfectly capable replacements for the young Frenchman should Pellegrini opt to remove him from the firing line.

Elsewhere in defence, Gael Clichy provides a great alternative to Aleksandar Kolarov who was unfortunate to concede a late penalty on Tuesday.

Slightly further up the pitch, Fernandinho's slightly more attacking style could see him given the nod of his countryman Fernando, who has so far offered little more than protection for a leaky defence.

In attack, the return to fitness of Stevan Jovetic means Edin Dzeko may be looking over his shoulder.

Certain starters

While some positions are certainly up for grabs, a number of City players are almost assured of their place in the starting line-up.

Joe Hart may have lost his place to Willy Caballero earlier in the season, but he's won back his place between the sticks after that experiment.

Ahead of him Vincent Kompany, as captain, will always make the starting 11 regardless of form, while Yaya Toure will continue to play despite being nowhere his best.

In contrast, it's form that means nine-goal striker Sergio Aguero will definitely lead the attack supported by the always dangerous David Silva, while James Milner has been a revelation this season.

Predicted Manchester City team v West Ham: Hart; Zabaleta, Demichelis, Kompany, Clichy; Milner, Toure, Fernandinho, Silva; Jovetic, Aguero

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Sergio Aguero
Manchester City
Premier League
Gnegneri Toure Yaya
Joe Hart

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