Hammers looking to continue unbeaten run against lacklustre City

Bowen and Fornals celebrate. Image Credit: Getty Images

Manuel Lanzini’s magic goal against Tottenham Hotspur saw West Ham come from 3-0 down to draw 3-3. However, this week they will face their hardest test when they face Manchester City.

Wins against Wolves, Leicester and last weeks 3-3 draw means that the Hammers are now unbeaten in their last three league games.

Looking at their fixture list at the start of the season, no one would have expected the Irons to be tenth in the table, especially with the transfer window that they had.

The sales of Grady Diangana, Jack Wilshire and Josh Cullen left the Hammers without the depth they needed.

Felipe Anderson joining Porto on loan for the season which meant that David Moyes had just one left winger at his disposal in the form of Pablo Fornals.

West Ham managed to close the transfer window with two positive signings and a questionable one.

Right back was a position the Irons needed to strengthen in, and with Ryan Fredericks picking up an injury, the Irons brought in Vladmir Coufal from Slavia Prague.

When it came to a wide attacking option the Hammers sealed the loan signing of Said Benrahma on transfer deadline day with an obligation to buy.

It is likely that the Algerian who lit up the Championship last season will slot straight into the Hammers left wing spot with Pablo Fornals moving to a more natural position in the centre of midfield.

Manchester City finished second last season ending their two year reign as Premier League champions.

So far this season they have failed to find the flair and desire they have been know for under Pep Guardiola.

A far from impressive 1-0 victory over Arsenal last week left people wondering what has gone wrong so far.

Defence has been the Cityzens biggest downfall this season, giving away two/three penalties in their 5-2 thumping at the hands of Leicester City at the Etihad.

Guardiola has not been able to put together a consistent back line, with Nathan Ake, Ruben Dias, Eric Garcia and John Stones all play at centre back.

Aymeric Laporte, who has been City’s best defensive unit over the last few seasons has been plagued by injury. This spell on the side-lines has been the Sky Blues downfall so far this season with Ruben Dias being the best attempt at plugging what is the teams biggest weakness.

West Ham have started with a different formation this season, Angelo Ogbonna, Fabian Balbuena and Aaron Creswell have made up the centre back roles in a 5-4-1 formation.

Predicted lineup for the Hammers. A 5-4-1 formation. Declan Rice moves to CB with Fornals replacing him at CM.

Arthur Masuaku has been playing as a left wing back in this formation and has filled the boots comfortably. Switching between an attacking and defensive role throughout games is one of the 26 year old’s biggest attributes.

For City they started the game with a typical 4-3-3 holding and swapped to a 3-3-3-1 diamond with Cancelo and Silva in the centre of midfield.

David Moyes is likely to have a fully fit squad at his expense when the Irons head to the Etihad, the Scotsman confirmed this in a press conference at Rush Green.

“We’ve got everybody in pretty good order,” Moyes told West Ham’s website.

“Seb Haller picked up a bit of an injury in training before the last game at Tottenham, but he’s trained [this week] so we’re expecting him to be available as well this weekend.

“Saïd is doing well. He needs to get up to speed of what we want and where we’re at, but the way the players are playing has given me the opportunity to take a little more time with him anyway.

“It’s a bit like I’ve always said with the boys from the Championship. I’m not in a great rush to put them into the team – I want to give them opportunities, but I want to do it at the right time when I think it’s best for them.”