Fan blogger Adam May looks ahead to Saturday's game against Manchester City
Despite Manchester City’s mid-week defeat to a struggling Juventus side, it would be foolish to claim that West Ham will have an easy ride on Saturday.
What the Hammers will have though is a key component for any team: confidence.
Away wins over Arsenal and Liverpool this season should give Slaven Bilic’s men an important lift going to the Etihad, a stadium that the Hammers haven’t won a league match in since 2003.
While it’s clear that there was something not quite right with the Citizens in the Champions League – perhaps again a demonstration of how far the Premier League is behind our European rivals – their Premier League record speaks for itself: played five, won five, scored 11 and conceded none.
That is a record to behold and, on the basis of that, are the Hammers going to pick up a point? The pessimist would say no chance, but the optimist would take great encouragement from Monday’s win over Newcastle.
And who doesn’t like a bit of optimism in football?
While the opponent may not have been in the same mould as Manuel Pellegrini’s outfit, the front four of Victor Moses, Dimitri Payet, Lanzini and Diafra Sakho were a constant threat, causing maximum damage on the Toon.
Even if the result doesn’t quite go in the Hammers’ favour on Saturday, you can be sure that they will have a good old go with Mark Noble leading the line, a player who has excelled yet again.
Payet, who of course netted both goals in the 2-0 win over Newcastle, has similarly had an impact and is certainly looking like an extremely promising recruitment. Unearthed from Marseille, his transition to the rigours of the Premier League has been seamless and long may it continue.
The match against Manchester City will be a good test for both the Hammers and Payet himself. With West Ham sitting in fifth and having recorded back-to-back wins, the game should be a good marker for how far Bilic’s team has come, as well as what needs tweaking. On paper, and in their strength in depth, City are the strongest side in the league. If the Hammers aren’t going to go there with belief then there’s very little point in turning up.
There’s no pressure to record a result – it would be a bonus. There was no real pressure to pick up a result at the Emirates or Anfield either, but the Hammers succeeded in bringing maximum points back to the Boleyn. Why can’t that happen this time?
The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of West Ham United