Sang Tan/AP/Press Association Images
Date: Wednesday, 8 January 2014; Venue: Etihad Stadium, Manchester; Kickoff: 19:45GMT
Manchester City have only lost one of their last 15 meetings with West Ham as Manuel Pellegrini’s team entertain the East Londoners at the Etihad in the Capital One Cup semi-final.
Jack Collison scored a second half winner for the Hammers at Upton Park in March 2009, but that is the only victory they’ve recorded over City since back-to-back wins in 2006. Sam Allardyce remains short of striking options, so West Ham fans shall fondly remember Dean Ashton’s brace during an FA Cup run to the final.
The Hammers are not much better off defensively either and come into this two-legged tie off the back of four defeats in their last five. Big Sam chose the FA Cup third round tie at Nottingham Forest to blood youngsters en masse – a move that resulted in a 5-0 thumping.
City are not sure themselves of a place in the next round of the world’s oldest knockout football competition. Blackburn battled back to force Pellegrini to a replay next midweek just when he was planning on taking the team out for some sun. Both Rovers and West Ham could easily succumb to City’s imperious home form.
Allardyce sees his Hammers sit second bottom of the Premier League, but have already knocked out London rivals Spurs out of the League Cup en route to making the final four. City’s run of seven straight wins may have been stopped last time out, but they remain hot favourites to advance here.
Spanish winger Jesus Navas has joined Stevan Jovetic and Jack Rodwell as absentees for City after he picked up a knee problem. Pellegrini revealed star striker Sergio Aguero and right back Micah Richards are both back in training. This game comes too soon for both, however.
Centre back Martin Demichelis returns to the City squad after four games out, but fellow defender Dedryck Boyata is banned. Yaya Toure could be back in the XI in midfield, yet keeper Costel Pantilimon should be benched after his error led to Blackburn’s equalizer.
West Ham are highly likely to hand Wolves loan capture Roger Johnson his debut straight away in the heart of defence. Fellow centre halves Winston Reid (ankle), James Tomkins and James Collins (both groin) remain out. Several first-team players that were rested for the trip to Forest will return.
Hammers captain Kevin Nolan serves the second game of a three-match ban, but there is a small chance midfielder Mark Noble could comeback from a calf problem. Forward Ricardo Vaz Te is still struggling with a shoulder injury whilst record signing Andy Carroll is still a week away from returning to the squad.
Man City: Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta, Vincent Kompany/Martin Demichelis, Matija Nastasic, Aleksandar Kolarov, Fernandinho, Yaya Toure, James Milner, David Silva, Samir Nasri, Alvaro Negredo 4-2-3-1
West Ham: Jussi Jaaskelainen, Guy Demel, Roger Johnson, George McCartney, Razvan Rat/Joey O’Brien, Mohamed Diame, Alou Diarra/Mark Noble, Joe Cole, Jack Collison/Ravel Morrison, Mathew Taylor, Carlton Cole 4-2-3-1
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