- Teams split last season’s series (home wins)
- West Ham winless at City since 2006
- City leads all-time 48W-16D-36L
Manchester City’s perfect Premier League mark will have to deal with injuries and an in-form West Ham United on Saturday afternoon at the Etihad Stadium (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra).
[ MORE: PL Preview — Chelsea vs. Arsenal ]
City hasn’t conceded a goal or a point in Premier League play this season, but will be without Vincent Kompany in addition to Pablo Zabaleta and Gael Clichy. Into the fray is big-money signing Nicolas Otamendi, who will line up in front of Joe Hart.
West Ham is up to fifth, another solid Premier League start to a season. Dimitri Payet scored a pair of goals in Monday’s 2-0 win over Newcastle. Though the Irons didn’t carry the play, they limited the Magpies to few chances of any quality.
What they’re saying
City’s Manuel Pellegrini on Otamendi: “It’s important for Otamendi to show why he’s here and for Demichelis to play again after doing so well. Otamendi has been working with our team the last three weeks maybe not so many times as we would have liked but he’s an experienced player and he must have an option in this moment. I hope he will have a good performance.”
West Ham’s James Collins on Payet: “Everyone is talking about Dimitri Payet and I have seen it from the first couple of days he came into the Club. I first played with him at Southend and he was by far the best player on the pitch by a mile. Some of the stuff he was doing was tremendous.He has kicked on since then and is showing great form. He has settled in very quickly and has got involved in all the banter in the changing room and gets on with it. We are reaping the rewards of a great player.”
Is this the day City sacrifices its season-long clean sheet? Kompany has been a big part of that run, and injected a new center back is a big move (even considering the quality of Otamendi… and how about Pellegrini’s tone on the Argentine’s form?). I’d think West Ham can punch in a goal, and I’d like to see Andy Carroll have the chance to do it, but Aguero back to fitness makes the case for our prediction: City 3-1.