Weblog: The football punter

West Ham should be hammered by Man City

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West Ham were thumped 4-0 by fellow Premier League strugglers Everton on Wednesday and the fixture list offers no respite for new boss David Moyes as his unhappy Hammers head to rampant leaders Manchester City.

Perhaps the only West Ham representative pleased about the trip to the title favourites is on-loan goalkeeper Joe Hart, who is ineligible to play against his parent club.

Hart's miserable season continued when he was stranded hopelessly out of position for Wayne Rooney's strike from his own half at Goodison Park and his deputy Adrian is a whopping 28-1 to keep a clean sheet against free-scoring City.

West Ham are 35-1 to win the game and 11-1 to earn a draw against Pep Guardiola's men, who extended their winning league run to 12 games thanks to Raheem Sterling's injury-time strike against Southampton on Wednesday.

Moyes may gee up his players by pointing out that City also required late goals from Sterling to see off Feyenoord and Huddersfield in the last two weeks but West Ham do not appear to have the defensive personnel to frustrate their hosts.

First-choice keeper Hart is unavailable while defenders James Collins, Sam Byram and Jose Fonte are injured and New Zealand international centre-back Winston Reid is doubtful after coming off late in the defeat at Everton.

There are major absentees at the other end of the pitch too, with strikers Andy Carroll and Javier Hernandez sidelined, and West Ham can take little solace from the Manchester City team news.

Vincent Kompany and Fernandinho will be assessed before kick-off but David Silva and Leroy Sane are pushing for recalls and Sterling, Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero have scored 26 goals between them in City's first 14 league matches.

Silva and the outstanding Kevin De Bruyne have the potential to run rings around an unbalanced Hammers midfield while a depleted defence and attack means the visitors should be there for the taking.

City have been made to work hard for their recent victories but their stunning start to the season also included 5-0 wins over Liverpool and Crystal Palace, a 6-0 victory at Watford, and a 7-2 home drubbing of Stoke.

They beat West Ham 3-1 and 4-0 in the league last season, also thrashing them 5-0 at the London Stadium in the FA Cup, and this looks an ideal opportunity for another wide-margin win.

West Ham have conceded three or more goals in half of their league games this season, including a 4-0 opening defeat at Manchester United, and their recent record against the big six is dire.

This season they lost 4-1 at home to Liverpool and 3-2 to Tottenham (having been 3-0 down after an hour) and they conceded 31 goals in 12 games against the top six last term.

City are 10-11 with bet365 to break Chelsea's Premier League record of 103 goals and that price could be even shorter after the visit of West Ham, with 4-0 and 5-0 home wins the pick of the correct-score value.

Manchester City to win 4-0
Manchester City to win 5-0

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Match in Focus

12:00 Sa 20Oct ELEV

Real Madrid v Levante

Home WinDrawAway Win
Key stats
  • Real Madrid have failed to score in four successive matches
Expert verdict
Real Madrid need to get back to winning ways but they may struggle to see off improving Levante, who have won their last two games, against Alaves and Getafe. Levante will be buoyed by the pair of draws they chalked up against Real last season, though this term they have the third-worst defence in La Liga.