Manchester City will be looking to put off-field issues to one side as they take on strugglers West Ham in the Premier League on Wednesday.
The Etihad has been rocked by news of a two-season ban imposed by UEFA, which prohibits the club from qualifying for any of Europe’s continental club competitions until 2022 – pending appeal.
The bombshell announcement has sent ripples of uncertainty across the club, but Pep Guardiola must not let this major setback derail his and City’s season.
Catching table-toppers Liverpool appears an insurmountable task, but Guardiola is a renowned perfectionist and will not allow that all-too familiar ‘beach mode’ to set in against the Hammers.
David Moyes has his own problems at the foot of the table, but will be hoping to cause an upset in midweek, and this clash comes after the original tie was postponed, owing to Storm Ciara.
Will the extended time off work in West Ham’s favour? Or will City rally against the off-field tide and do what they do best? Read on for Man City vs West Ham preview, team news, TV coverage information and more.
When is Man City vs West Ham and where can I watch live?
Competition: Premier League
Date: Wednesday, 19 February 2020
Kick-off: 7:30 PM (UK time)
TV coverage (UK): Sky Sports Premier League & Sky Sports Main Event
Online & live stream options: UK audiences with Sky Sports subscriptions can watch online or through their app. Those with a Now TV sports pass can also stream the game live.
Elsewhere, readers based in the US can try Fubo TV, who are currently offering a free trial deal.
Last five meetings: Man City vs West Ham
27 February 2019: Man City 1-0 West Ham (Premier League)
24 November 2018: West Ham 0-4 Man City (Premier League)
29 April 2018: West Ham 1-4 Man City (Premier League)
03 December 2017: Man City 2-1 West Ham (Premier League)
Aggregate Score: Man City (WWWWW) 16-2 West Ham (LLLLL)
Ones to watch
Man City: David Silva
David Silva was kept on ice as City were swatted aside by Tottenham in their previous outing, back on February 2, but Spanish genius will resume his role in the heart of midfield – and that is the last thing West Ham fans want to see.
Not only is Silva the conduit between midfield and attack for Guardiola but he has scored more goals against the Hammers (six) than any other club across his career. He may be entering his twilight years and on his way out at City, but the hypnotic playmaker is showing no signs of slowing down and could have a field day against a side he usually toys with.
Key stat: In 16 matches against West Ham, Silva has been on the winning side 14 times and lost just once – though he also scored in that defeat.
West Ham: Michail Antonio
All eyes will be on free-scoring Jarrod Bowen and whether the former Hull winger can transmit his Championship form over to the top-flight, but arguably the key to West Ham’s survival is not in their latest marquee acquisition, but whether Michail Antonio can stay fit over these next few months.
The 29-year-old is without question West Ham’s most important player alongside Lukasz Fabianski, offering a perfect marriage between brains and brawn. He’s in that same explosive category as Adama Traore, but both offer so much more than just a hulking frame and sonic speed.
Antonio keeps the ball with great intelligence and offers a refined end product. In games against the technical and creative superiority of City, the inclusion of someone in Antonio’s havoc-wreaking mould can make all the difference.
Key stat: Despite playing just 671 minutes of Premier League action this season, Antonio has completed the second-most successful take-ons (43) of West Ham players.
Confirmed Man City line-up
Tonight's team news is in! 🙌
XI | Ederson, Walker, Otamendi, Laporte, Mendy, Rodrigo, De Bruyne, D Silva (C), Bernardo, G Jesus, Aguero.
SUBS | Bravo, Stones, Gundogan, Fernandinho, Mahrez, Cancelo, Foden.
— Manchester City (@ManCity) February 19, 2020
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Confirmed West Ham line-up
— West Ham United (@WestHam) February 19, 2020
The Premier League title may be gone; City face a daunting trip to Leicester City this weekend as well as Real Madrid next week; and there are off-field issues to contend with. If ever you wanted to be playing City, the time would be now.
Unfortunately West Ham just never seem to take advantage of these kind of situations and with the quality at City’s disposal, coupled with the away side’s current plight, it’s really hard to looks past anything other than a convincing win for the hosts.