Men's Team

Jesus, Laporte return as City make two changes

Jesus, Laporte return as City make two changes
Gabriel Jesus and Aymeric Laporte return to the starting XI for City against West Ham as Pep Guardiola makes two changes from the side that beat PSG 2-1 in midweek.

Oleks Zinchenko and John Stones drop down to the bench as City look to close the gap on leaders Chelsea and second-placed Liverpool.

lINE-UPS

City: Ederson, Walker, Cancelo, Laporte, Dias, Rodrigo, Gundogan, Bernardo, Sterling, Jesus, Mahrez

Subs: Steffen, Carson, Stones, Zinchenko, Ake, Fernandinho, Palmer, McAtee

West Ham: Fabianski, Johnson, Dawson, Zouma, Cresswell, Soucek, Rice, Fornals, Benrahma, Masuaku, Antonio

Subs: Coufal, Yarmolenko, Lanzini, Vlasic, Areola, Noble, Bowen, Diop, Král

Formation

It looks a straight 4-3-3 for City - as per usual - with the formation fluid throughout.

Bernardo is likely to take on the main playmaker role in midfield, with Jesus and Mahrez on the flanks and Raheem Sterling likely to play down the middle.

The Hammers may well look to stem the threat Joao Cancelo poses in what should be an interesting tactical battle.

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Hammer Time

The West Ham of the past two seasons is a different proposition to the team who, more often than not, turned up at the Etihad and left with a defeat.

City’s dominance in this fixture over the past decade or so has been almost total, with 20 victories, four draws and three losses in 27 meetings.

But last season, the Hammers held City 1-1 at the London Stadium before leaving the Etihad with a very unfortunate 2-1 defeat.

Of course, it was the Hammers who ended City’s quest for a fifth successive Carabao Cup in October, with David Moyes’ men securing victory via a penalty shoot-out.

They arrive today in fine form, fourth in the Premier League having found a formation and formula that is effective and difficult to beat.

And in the blossoming Declan Rice, they have a player who is key to everything they do.

Michail Antonio can be a handful for any defence, too, so make no mistake – the champions will need to be at their best to take all three points this afternoon.

WATCH: City v West Ham: Top 5 goals

Stats and facts

  • City have kept a clean sheet in six of the past seven Premier League home games, with the exception last month's 2-0 defeat by Crystal Palace.
  • The Blues have lost four of the previous five top-flight home matches in which they did not keep a clean sheet, including each of the last three.
  • Raheem Sterling has been involved in 11 goals in his past eight league appearances against West Ham, scoring six and assisting five.
  • Sterling is two short of 100 Premier League goals.
  • Bernardo Silva is vying to score in three consecutive Premier League matches for the first time.
  • Ederson needs one more clean sheet to reach 100 for the Club.

West Ham

  • Defeat at Wolves ended West Ham's run of four consecutive Premier League wins.
  • They are in danger of losing back-to-back league games for the first time since April.
  • The Hammers have won 20 top-flight fixtures in 2021, their highest total in a calendar year since claiming 21 victories in 1986.
  • West Ham's only Premier League win away to reigning champions was by 1-0 at Manchester United in December 2001.
  • They have taken just five points from a possible 75 in such fixtures, losing 22 of 25 matches.
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