When: 19th April, 1:30pm
Where: Etihad Stadium, Manchester
Watch live: Click here to watch on NowTV from Sky!
What a difference a day makes. Look back to West Ham’s last visit to the Etihad Stadium and Manchester City are being crowned Premier League champions for the second time, Manuel Pellegrini is being given the bumps by the squad and hailed a genius and it looks like a period of domination is set to begin.
How wrong we were.
Eleven months on and after a quite ludicrous collapse in form, fight and bottle, City have slid from a position of joint-top in the table on New Year’s day down into fourth, and even that’s under threat.
Lose against the Hammers on Sunday and surely Pellegrini’s position becomes untenable because not only would City have failed once again to challenge effectively in Europe or the cups, but their status in next season’s Champions League would be under threat with Liverpool potentially able to get to just one point behind them in the Premier League table.
To compound the Chilean coach’s troubles, Vincent Kompany has been ruled out presumably until the end of the season with a thigh injury he picked up in the 4-2 defeat to Manchester United.
A worrying prospect given Martin Demichelis and Eliaquim Mangala would then be the two most senior centre-backs.
City will also be without Wilfired Bony, Gael Clichy, James Milner and Stevan Jovetic.
Sam Allardyce meanwhile will be without top scorer Diafra Sakho – so perhaps City shouldn’t be so fearful of an upset, especially considering the Hammers have won just one of their last 10 Premier League games.
Their last win away from Upton Park came shamefully on the 2nd of December, a simpler time when they were still in the top four but once again a malaise has sit in and those old rumblings of discontent on the terraces have returned as West Ham lounge in 9th in the table.
Allardyce will likely leave in the summer with his contract expiring and yet to be offered a renewal. And the question has to be; even if Manchester City win at the weekend will Pellegrini join him in the queue for the job centre?