Even though the Premier League title won’t be wrapped up with a win against West Ham tomorrow, a win would go a long way in placing one hand on the trophy with one game left.
Pep Guardiola’ s team will travel to London to face a team that is playing to secure European football as a win will take them above Manchester United into the final Europa League place.
They will also enter a stadium with 50,000+ fans singing one man’s name as their club legend Mark Noble retires at the end of the season. He will want to bow out of his playing career with a legacy of securing consecutive European trips for fans and players; a debut fairytale season that was so close to reaching the final, only to fall to Eintracht Frankfurt in the semifinals.
The club’s media has been spoiling West Ham fans this week with a selection of videos of their favourite son as he embarks on his last game in the capital, with the particular highlight being the emotional speech at the club’s awards night in the week.
He has already admitted there will be tears on the day as his potential 549th appearance could make the difference to the crowd if he enters from the substitute bench, roaring the team on to go and get three points.
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Something that could also hamper or spur the champions to defend their crown, especially as questions regarding their personality have been raised following the collapse against Real Madrid.
A rocking London Stadium for their East London boy could bring out their best performance and upturn in form after only one win in the last five.
West Ham’s form has been affected by that European distraction as they have lost to Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and Brentford in the last month, only returning to winning ways against relegated Norwich in their previous fixture.
The fixture in the 2020/21 season ended in a draw with Phil Foden’s goal allowing City to come away with a share of the points after Michail Antonio’s opener, however City were only prevented from the full three by Fabianski and resolute West Ham defending in the second half.
The team was also responsible for the exit from the Carabao Cup in October after a goalless draw ended in a penalty defeat.
A potential banana skin in the run-in despite many pundits predicting the Wolves fixtures will be of equal difficulty. Yet that was disproven as Kevin de Bruyne and his magic allowed those predictions to fall flat as soon as his second of the night struck the Wolves net.
Let’s hope that City can ruin the party in East London and take the celebrations back to Manchester.