Saturday, January 19, 2008

West Ham prediction

Manchester City will be without striker Nery Castillo for the visit of West Ham after he fractured a shoulder bone.
Michael Johnson (abdominal strain) and Emile Mpenza (hamstring) are also ruled out through injury.
West Ham boss Alan Curbishley could bring back Hayden Mullins and Carlton Cole after preferring Lee Bowyer and Luis Boa Morte in midweek.
Danny Gabbidon is available after a groin injury and Julien Faubert is edging closer to a first-team start.

Man City (from): Hart, Onuoha, Corluka, Dunne, Richards, Ball, Garrido, Ireland, Hamann, Fernandes, Petrov, Elano, Bianchi, Vassell, Samaras, Isaksson, Jihai, Etuhu.
West Ham (from): Green, Wright, Neill, Spector, Ferdinand, Upson, Collins, Gabbidon, McCartney, Bowyer, Faubert, Noble, Mullins, Etherington, Boa Morte, Reid, Ashton, Cole.

>>BBC Sport.

For the fourth time this season we face off againsy West Ham, and we are yet to be defeated or concede a goal, and I think we go into this game with plenty of confidence following the Cup win during the week.

With the way the pack chasing the fourth spot in the table is bunched together, arguably this game has a greater importance than the FA Cup game in terms of getting a win, and in this case maximum points.

I would be surprised if Carlton Cole is not recalled for West Ham, given the ineffectiveness of Boa Morte on Wednesday and a forward line of Cole and Ashton will bring plenty of size for Dunne and Richards to cope with.

For ourselves, Castillo is obviously out and either Bianchi or Gelson I imagine would step in depending on what formation Sven opts for - with Gelson being the likelier addition. This will also allow Elano to adopt a more forward role where he can cause far greater damage than either on the right or in a more withdrawn position.

Hamman is again the key for me in this game, as I thought he was outstanding in midweek, controlling the game, the focal point of all of our moves and never once pnaicking under pressure. His influence this season will surely benefit Gelson, Ireland and Johnson tremendously in their future development.

As I mentioned on Wednesday, we were good value for our win (despite some protestation from the West Ham camp) and I cannot see the result being any different tomorrow - this time with a scoreline of 2-0.

vote it up!

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