Manuel Pellegrini takes his West Ham United team to his old stomping ground of the Etihad Stadium this evening to face the mite of Pep Guardiola’s reigning champions, Manchester City, in the Premier League.
Today, we give you all the key statistics you need to know ahead of the 8pm GMT kick-off in Manchester. Like, for example, did you know the visitors could avoid defeat against “Big Six” opposition for the fifth time in the league in 2018/2019 this evening? Join us.
West Ham looking to break three-and-a-half year taboo
With an unlikely victory tonight, and unlikely it would be too with some bookmakers placing them as far out as 20-1, the Hammers could end a three-and-a-half year winless taboo against the Citizens.
The last time they defeated the north-west opposition home or away in any competition came all the way back in September 2015, when the club was still under the reign of Slaven Bilic. And City, oddly enough, were being managed by Pellegrini.
On that day, West Ham took the lead through loan star Victor Moses after just five minutes, doubling that advantage through striker Diafra Sakho on the half-hour mark. Kevin de Bruyne pulled one back for the hosts, but it wasn’t enough to stop them slipping to a 2-1 loss.
There have been seven meetings between the teams since then and six of them have been won by tonight’s home side. In fact, the East Londoners have now failed to avoid defeat against City in over three years. Is that about to change?
The last meeting between the pair of sides separated by nine places and exactly 30 points in the PL table came just a few months ago in November 2018 at London Stadium.
On that Saturday afternoon, Guardiola’s men were in full song as they romped to a 0-4 win. David Silva, Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane with a double were on the scoresheet and if West Ham are to lose again, Pellegrini will want to make sure it’s not quite as clear-cut this time against his former club of three seasons.
Last time out in this fixture
Whilst things have been emphatic in the last two fixtures involving West Ham and Man City, 1-4 and 0-4 victories for Blue Moon in east London, they were a little tighter the last time this exact fixture was played out.
That came well over a year ago in early December 2018, when an Angelo Ogbonna opener in the first half shocked the Etihad by putting David Moyes’ stragglers ahead. The hosts would come back to win 2-1 thanks to goals from Nicolas Otamendi and Silva once more, but the Hammers will have fond memories of their brave performance on that day.
Unsurprisingly, the sides enter this encounter in contrasting form. Despite West Ham winning their last match in impressive style with a 3-1 besting of 19th-placed Fulham on home soil on Friday, it was their first victory since Saturday 12 January.
The Citizens also won in their last affair, taking Chelsea to penalties in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday and then getting the better of them, 3-4. In the period the East London outfit went winless between 12 January and 22 February, the Manchester team recorded no fewer than, wait for it. A remarkable 11 triumphs.
Last five matches in all competitions:
Man City: WWWWW
West Ham: LLDDW
Seeing two of the oldest and richest clubs in English football in terms of history meet, it’s little surprise to see that there have been many renewing’s of this fixture, 108, to be precise.
In those matchups, City have mostly been dominant, registering over 50 (54) wins to the measly 37 of the Hammers. Meanwhile, the spoils have been shared in a stalemate on just 17 occasions. What will it be in a couple of hours?
Opportunity knocks for Hammers and City
Our final section of stats will look at what a result could do for either team in the match and as it turns out, opportunity knocks for both Blue Moon, chasing their second consecutive title, and the Irons, going for the final European spot.
The hosts must try to keep pace with top-of-the-table Liverpool who are just a point in front of them and if they win and the Reds fail to defeat Watford on the same evening, Guardiola’s team will return to the top. Whereas, with the Hornets unlikely to pick up points and Wolves, also above them, losing away at rock-bottom Huddersfield Town last night. With three points, Pellegrini’s men would climb back up to ninth, potentially just a point off seventh place and being “the best of the rest.”
So, now that you’ve been supplied with all the key statistics you needed to know ahead of Manchester City vs West Ham in the Premier League this evening, all that’s left to do is wit and see what new stats will be created at the Etihad Stadium!
Full-time Staff Writer for the Ronnie Dog Media Group, regularly edit and write articles on FBH, follow me on Twitter.