The Manchester City vs West Ham United League Cup Semi-Final will take place on Wednesday January 8, 2014 (11:45 AM Pacific). Two teams with contrasting fortunes are set to battle it out to in a bid to secure their place in the final of the Capital One Cup, as high flying Manchester City welcome struggling West Ham United to the Etihad Stadium for the first leg of the of the semi-finals.
Manchester City are currently in imperious form and have been unbeaten in their last 13 matches. The Citizens are starting to show Championship winning form at the moment and despite their disappointing draw against Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup, Manuel Pellegrini’s men head into the home clash against West Ham United full of confidence.
City have been brilliant at the Etihad this season and Pellegrini will certainly be expecting his side to put one foot in the final at Wembley after the conclusion of the clash against the Hammers on Wednesday night.
Meanwhile, West Ham United are surrounded by doom and gloom at the moment. The Hammers’ struggles in the league were compounded by the fact that the squad has been ravaged due to injuries. The 5-0 loss at the hands of Championship side Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup also did not do manager Sam Allardyce any favours, even though he did put out a significantly weakened side.
The only silver lining in West Ham’s campaign so far has been their Capital One cup run, but Allardyce’s side could be in line for a rude awakening from a rampant City side who have conquered all in front of their home fans this season.
Sergio Aguero, John Guidetti, Stevan Jovetic and Jack Rodwell are all struggling with injuries and may not recover in time for the clash while Dedryck Boyata misses out due to suspension. The likes of Micah Richards and Martin Demichelis may feature though after returning to full training.
Despite dropping a clanger at Ewood Park on Saturday, Costel Pantilimon looks set to start in goal while Joleon Lescott and Vincent Kompany look like the possible centre-back pairing. Alexsandr Kolarov and Pablo Zabaleta will be reinstated to the starting line-up while Yaya Toure may also be handed a start.
Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko look likely to lead the line again for City and the duo will be supported by the likes Jesus Navas and Samir Nasri.
West Ham United
Sam Allardyce put up a considerably weakened side against Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup and will most certainly pick an experienced line-up for the visit to the Etihad on Wednesday.
Key players Winston Reid, James Collins, James Tomkins, Ricardo Vaz Te and Andy Carroll are all ruled out of the match while captain Kevin Nolan will be unavailable due to suspension.
Allardyce has confirmed that new signing Roger Johnson will head straight into the starting line-up and he will most probably he partnered in centre-defence by George McCartney with the likes of Guy Demel and Razvan Rat completing the makeshift back line. Adrian looks set to continue in goal.
Either Carlton Cole or Modibo Maiga will be leading the line for the Hammers with support coming from the likes of Matt Jarvis, Joe Cole and Ravel Morrison. Mohamed Diame and Mark Noble look set to marshal the midfield.
Manchester City (Probable XI): Pantilimon; Kolarov, Lescott, Kompany, Zabaleta; Nasri, Toure, Fernandinho, Navas; Dzeko, Negredo.
West Ham United (Probable XI): Adrian; Rat, Johnson, McCartney, Demel; Jarvis, Noble, Morrison, Diame, Cole; Maiga.
Manchester City: D W W W W
West Ham United: L L D L L
19/10/2013 West Ham United 1 – 3 Manchester City (Premier League)
27/04/2013 Manchester City 2 – 1 West Ham United (Premier League)
Manchester City vs West Ham Prediction
There looks set to be only one winner heading into the clash due to obvious reasons. Manchester City are starting to fire on all cylinders, while West Ham United could soon be resigned to relegation if their current slump continues for any longer.
The West Ham United side will significantly be stronger than the one that was put out in the FA Cup against Nottingham Forest, but the strength of the Hammers squad will pale in comparison to what City possess in their ranks. Injuries have not helped Sam Allardyce this season and he will be hoping for a minor miracle if the Hammers are to overcome Manchester City away from home.
On the other hand, City are in great shape despite a couple of injuries of their own and will be further fuelled by the incentive for victory due to the fact that they have reached the League Cup final since 1976.
One beacon of hope for the Hammers fans is that West Ham are good at stifling opponents and if they can frustrate City by not conceding an early goal then they might stand a fighting chance of giving themselves something to play for in the second leg.
City look too strong for the depleted Hammers though and it would not be surprising if West Ham United are on the wrong side of a hammering. Manchester City 3 – 0 West Ham United.
Manchester City vs West Ham Television
The match will be televised on beIN Sport USA at 11:45 AM Pacific.
Manchester City 6-0 West Ham Highlights