10 February 2020
Manchester City will be looking to return to winning ways and extend their winning run in the Premier League (PL) home H2Hs with West Ham United to four games when the two sides face off at the Etihad Stadium this weekend.
Back-to-back competitive losses ‘to nil’ now mean the hosts have failed to find the net in two successive matches for the first time under Pep Guardiola. The reigning PL holders will try to overcome the crisis when they take on a side they’ve beaten in eight competitive H2Hs, home and away. Notably, five of those wins have been accompanied by a clean sheet, with six seeing City score over 2.5 goals. The Citizens can also draw inspiration from their recent run of home form (W3, D1), and the fact that they’ve netted two goals or more in each of those fixtures. Yet, not exactly the quickest home starters, Guardiola’s men have found the opening goal in 50% (six) of their 12 PL home outings so far this season, although they won three of six league home games in which they’ve conceded first (W3, D1, L2).
Meanwhile, the visitors have failed to build on a strong start to the new calendar year (W2), failing to pick up a win in six subsequent competitive fixtures (D2, L4). Frustratingly for the traveling fans, four of those six games have seen West Ham ship the opening goal while three saw them draw a blank. It will be vital for the Hammers to prevent City from drawing first blood, as they lost all five of their PL away matches in which they’ve conceded the opener. A lack of away goals could be another setback here, as the Irons have so far bagged just ten goals in 12 PL road games (0.83 goals per away match), failing to score in 42% (five) of those fixtures.
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