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Saturday October 19, 2013 MYT 7:30:00 AM
Saturday October 19, 2013 MYT 10:26:13 AM
by shaun orange
Not going to be easy. Man City's Kun Aguero (right) will need to fire in the goals if the Citizens hope to overcome West Ham on Saturday.- AFP/ Andrew Yates.
MANCHESTER City resume their Premier League campaign after the international break with a tricky fixture at West Ham and it is one that the Citizens must think of winning, rather than returning to the Etihad with a point – or worse still, empty-handed.
City have come unstuck on a couple of occasions when they should really have won and will be keen to avoid a repeat of such a situation. However, having said that, the Hammers have been buoyed by their surprise victory over high-riding Tottenham in the last league match and obviously will be talking about another “big scalp” when Manuel Pellegrini visits Upton Park for the first time as City boss.
Notwithstanding all this and the last of the World Cup qualifiers proper that brought about the two-week inactivity of the league, there has been a lot of talk going on behind the scenes at the Etihad.
Not least of these has been Micah Richards’ denial of an exit from the 2012 champions roster, David Silva rebuking suggestions that he will be joining Real Madrid, Jovetic close to joining Juventus before opting to come to the Etihad and Javi Garcia’s assertion that there is now no room for error as the title contenders fix their attention on the club’s priority this season – to win the league crown for a second time in three years.
There is widespread belief within Eastlands that Pellegrini has enough quality and depth in his squad to clinch the title from their cross-town rivals, who themselves are suffering (in 9th place) under the new management of the former Everton gaffer, David Moyes.
Of particular interest to the City fans is the good news that Sergio Aguero returned earlier than expected from international duty and will be fighting fit to take on West Ham on Saturday. The Argentine is beginning to show signs of the form that has made him one of Europe’s leading strikers.
With low centre of gravity, outstanding ability to read the game and razor-sharp predatory skills in front of goal, Aguero has become an automatic choice for the starting XI when fit.
The absence of skipper Vincet Kompany, who has now become an injury-prone pillar of defence, should not get in City’s way to keep the Hammers at bay.
There are also concerns about midfielder Yaya Toure, who has had to endure a long journey back from international duty with the Ivory Coast.
Other than that and a few talking points like that of the club becoming one of the richest in the world within the next year and chief executive Tom Glick suggesting that the Citizens will beat European champions Bayern Munich in the not too distant future, City look ready to overcome West Ham and retain their top-five spot in the league standings.
Shaun Orange believes City will prevail on their visit to London on Saturday by the odd-goal.
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Manchester City, West Ham, Premier League, Etihad Stadium
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