Second to last in the table West Ham United face the daunting task of taking a trip to the Etihad Stadium to face off against high-flying league leaders Manchester City.
Even if David Moyes’ side were full strength, it would still be a massive, difficult task to get even a point against arguably the premiere side in the world at the moment. But Moyes will be without both his two marquee forwards (Andy Carroll, Javier Hernandez) and now his two team captains, as both Winston Reid and now Mark Noble have been ruled out.
Despite Carroll and Hernandez’s absences, Diafra Sakho is still left on the bench by Moyes, as Michail Antonio will be the line leader today for the Hammers. Declan Rice comes into the squad and will start alongside Angelo Ogbonna. Edimilson Fernandes makes the start as well, in a true park the bus and hit on a magical counter formation for Moyes.
For Pep Guardiola’s title favorite side, re-establishing an eight point lead over their rivals Manchester United before next week’s mouth-watering latest Manchester derby is essential. Rest is paramount for several key City veteran figures, but Fabian Delph will play in the midfield for a rare time this season and Leroy Sane returns for Guardiola.
It is as formidable a task as it gets for West Ham United, the start of the most challenging stretch for them in an already trying season. Will they, at the very least, not have an embarrassing result from this contest?
We shall see. Back at halftime and fulltime, as always.