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WEST HAM v MAN CITY
Glenn Roeder may well have spent the week reassuring the West Ham board of directors that the side had a similarly poor start to the 2001-02 campaign, but that was turned around respectably so there is no need to panic.
The Hammers have secured just a single point in their five matches so far, although in their refusal to give against Spurs last weekend they certainly showed signs of improvement over previous performances, such as their opening weekend thrashing at the hands of Newcastle.
Cole Berkovic 444 Minutes on pitch 457 1 Goals 0 5 Shots on target 1 0 Assists 1 77% Pass completion % 85% 33% Cross completion % 0%42 Dribbles and Runs 28 2 Yellow Cards 1 0 Red Cards 0
By contrast, Manchester City have had a good start to the season, more or less holding their own against most opponents and taking seven points from their opening six games. Unfortunately it is their home form that has been impressive - they have lost all three matches on their travels so far and could do without a repeat performance on Saturday.
They will naturally be looking to record signing Nicolas Anelka to increase his tally of four goals. The Frenchman has happily set about his task of proving Gerard Houllier wrong for not snapping him up in the summer, by netting 18% of his attempts so far. His record would have been better still had his hat-trick against Everton not been reduced to a brace by the dubious goals committee.
West Ham also have a Frenchman as top scorer, but Frederic Kanoute has half as many goals as his Manchester City counterpart. He will hope to up his average to more than a goal every other game as the season progresses, but he has also already provided a colleague with an assist and could pose the biggest threat to the City defence this weekend.
The last time the two sides met, Manchester City ran out 1-0 winners at Maine Road in April 2001 thanks to an Ian Pearce own goal. However, the last time Manchester City travelled to Upton Park it was a dark day for the Lancastrians, as they were stuffed 4-1. All four of the West Ham scorers that day - Pearce, Trevor Sinclair, Steve Lomas and Paolo di Canio - played against Spurs and may well line up again this weekend.
Of the Citizens embarrassed that day, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Steve Howey and possibly Paul Ritchie are the men in line for a chance at getting their own back.
Match Betting: West Ham 6/5 Draw 12/5
Man City 7/4 -
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