Things couldn’t be going much worse for West Ham at the moment. Their most recent performance against Brighton involved some of the most comical defending seen in the top-flight this season and they missed a chance to collect three massive points before embarking on a nastily difficult run of games.
To make matters worse, their game against Manchester City was postponed until after the two-in-a-row league champions were hit with a two-season ban from UEFA competition, so they can expect a backlash now – being the first team to come up against them since the ban.
City absolutely demolished the Hammers in London on the first day of the season in what seems a distant memory. All was well with City at the time and it appeared as though they were ready to go toe-to-toe with Liverpool yet again. Their season could hardly have gone worse though and they will look to take a lot of anger out on a West Ham side that has leaked goals, conceding nine in their last three. West Ham are the type of team that City rip asunder without blinking an eye and they should do so on Wednesday.
Predicting City’s starting line-up in their current situation is difficult, but this is a game that the Brazilian forward typically starts in, and does well. The young striker thrives against teams residing in the bottom half of the league, benefitting from City’s total dominance. He has also proved to influential in breaking the deadlock on numerous times this season.
Jesus has scored in seven separate games for City in the league this season, managing to opener the scoring in five of them. City’s number nine netted the first goal in a five-goal rout in the reverse fixture of this game and, with absolutely no value on the anytime goalscorer markets, he is worth a punt to open the scoring here.
If city do run riot, then logic would dictate that there will not be a lot of corners. Because if the Citizens do find the back of with regularity on Wednesday, the probability of the ball going behind for a corner is greatly reduced.
It means that West Ham’s defence are blocking less shots and that Lukasz Fabianski is saving less too. Furthermore, the chances of West Ham winning several corners is greatly reduced by the fact that City will almost certainly dominate the ball and their forays into the City half will be too rare to bring numerous corners.
The logic is also based in some fact. In any of City’s games where they have routed the opposition this season, the corner count has been low compared to games where teams have taken a shock lead, for instance. Take their demolition of West Ham on the opening day of the season, for example. The league champions had just one corner on that August afternoon in a game they won 5-0. They only had five corners in their 8-0 annihilation of Watford and four in their 6-1 hammering of Aston Villa last month.
Contrast that with their surprise 2-1 defeat to Manchester United in December where they had a whopping 16 corners, or there come-from-behind win against Southampton in November where they had 17. The trend continues for almost every easy win and every struggling performance. If City do score frequently, then expect the corner count to remain low.
A £/€1 treble on these selections returns £/€16.01 including stake on pp.com. Odds correct at time of posting but can change.