Tenacious Tevez looking to pop the Hammers’ bubble
As Manchester City travel to east London to face West Ham in Saturday's late kick-off, they face a month without defensive stalwart Micah Richards, however the return of Pablo Zabaleta and Javi Garcia will lift Roberto Mancini who knows a victory at Upton Park could take his team top.
For West Ham, a solid start to their Premier League return has seen them float around mid-table, although inconsistency has halted any further progress. A win for Sam Allardyce would see them equal their club record of most points ten games into a Premier League season, a stellar achievement for a squad that is missing the vital experience it need to avoid relegation.
After a dramatic beginning to his West Ham career, Andy Carroll missed a month through injury, and was expected to make an impact in front of goal upon his return, yet with nothing to his name by November, some may see his season-long loan as a failure. However, Carroll's contribution to a style of football categorised as ‘old-school' is vital for Allardyce, and will break his duck eventually, perhaps more by luck than judgement. So confident are we at William Hill that the burly England striker will notch his first of the season (and fifth against City), (from 11/2). we have enhanced his price to score in a West Ham win to 7/1Click here to bet on that and our full range of match betting.
Former Boelyn Ground hero Carlos Tevez hasn't scored there since wearing the famous Claret colours five and a half years ago, but with five goals to his name already this Premier League season, is 4/1 to net twice. Of course, the former Manchester United front man is supported by one of the deeper squads in England, and with Edin Dzeko representing the most efficient goal scorer in the league this campaign (a goal every 55 minutes), Roberto Mancini will expect his team to take all three points from West Ham. As he returns from a suspension, James Milner is expected to start, and will hope to assist Tevez in his goal scoring mission, but can the tenacious Argentina score in a City win, enhanced to 7/4.
With a league leading four home goals this season, Kevin Nolan is a tasty 9/1 to score first, although a sturdy defence has been key to City's early season success. If City can keep a clean sheet (17/10) they are more than likely to beat the Hammers, and continue their challenge to league leaders Chelsea.
After last season's final day drama, City will be hoping to avoid going down to the last possible second to win the league, however this week's controversy surrounding Mancini will ensure that City's season may remain rocky throughout, and is currently a sensational 11/4 to leave the Etihad Stadium before season-end.
As the late kick-off, this match kicks-off at 1730, with coverage beginning an hour beforehand on ESPN.