How the Bookies See it
- Winner: Manchester City 13/20, Draw 31/10, West Ham United 19/5 - BetVictor
- First Goalscorer: Sergio Aguero 10/3, Kelechi Iheanacho 5/1, Kevin De Bruyne 13/2 - Coral
- Correct Score: Draw 1-1 7/1, Manchester City 2-1 15/2, Manchester City 1-0 8/1 - BetVictor
- West Ham United have found life more than a little difficult following their move to the London Stadium. The Hammers have already lost more league games this season (10) than they did in the whole of their last campaign (8). Things looked to be improving for Slaven Bilic’s side following three successive victories over Burnley, Hull and Swansea, but defeats against Leicester and Manchester United have seen the club from the capital slip to within seven points of the relegation zone. In the cup, it is over a decade since West Ham last reached the final and almost forty years since they last lifted the trophy.
- Manchester City’s form has been a little shakier than many might have expected. Six wins in ten outings might not sound like form that should have Guardiola sweating on his future, but a run of unconvincing performances, including a limp defeat to Liverpool, have left City well adrift in the race for the Premier League title. In the cup, the Citizens will be looking to improve upon last season’s calamitous fifth round exit at the hands of Chelsea.
West Ham host their second Manchester club in the space of a week, but the London Stadium faithful will be hoping for a better outcome than the 2-0 defeat to United. The home side are not favoured by the bookmakers, but don’t rule out a narrow win for the Hammers as they aim to cause the first big shock on third round weekend. A West Ham win in which both teams find the net looks enticing at 7/1, while a hard fought 1-0 victory looks even more inviting at 17/1, both with BetVictor.
Manchester City’s recent record against West Ham is very impressive. The Citizens have lost just three of their last 23 games with the club from east London, a run that stretches back to 2006. A win this Friday is expected by many, with the away side priced at 13/20 with BetVictor to reach the next round at the first time of asking, although better odds are available on a City win to nil - 9/4 with Paddy Power. However, given that this match is coming at the end of a hectic festive schedule, don’t be surprised if Guardiola decides to make changes to his starting XI, with the Spanish duo of Nolito and Jesus Navas possibly spearheading the attack. Nolito is 13/2 to grab the opening goal, while teammate Navas looks even more tempting at 12/1. Any changes could result in a far more erratic contest, meaning a game with over 4.5 goals could be a good bet - 4/1 with BetVictor.
- Sports.net’s top tip: Total goals - Over 4.5 goals - 4/1 with BetVictor
*Please note, odds may fluctuate.