Charlie Nicholas predicts West Ham v Man City, team going backwards
By Matt Farr
Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas expects Manchester City to record a comfortable victory over West Ham on Friday.
The two Premier League sides go head-to-head in the FA Cup third round, with both sides looking to make an impact in the competition.
Manchester City have been the better of the two sides heading into the game, winning four of their last five Premier League games.
West Ham, meanwhile, ended a run of three straight wins with back-to-back defeats against Leicester and Manchester United, and Charlie Nicholas believes they are taking a step back in the wrong direction.
He told Sky Sports: “West Ham have taken a step back again after starting to move forward, although they’ll certainly be aggrieved by the nature of their loss to Manchester United.
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“Slaven Bilic is the right man to get them back on track in the long term.
“I see them suffering another blow here, and I’m going for a repeat of the scoreline we saw when they met in the Premier League at the Etihad.”
The Hammers were defeated 3-1 at the Etihad back in August, thanks to goals from Raheem Sterling (two) and Fernandinho, with Michail Antonio finding the back of the net for the visitors.
It has been a turbulent few weeks for Slaven Bilic’s side, having started December in a precarious position. An emphatic 5-1 defeat to Arsenal left them just one point above the relegation zone, but a four-game unbeaten run followed for the Hammers.
They drew 2-2 with Liverpool at Anfield, before back-to-back victories over relegation rivals Burnley, Hull and Swansea to propel them up to 11th place, and within touching distance of the top-half of the table.
However, their form has dropped again, and they now find themselves back in 13th place, still within just seven points of the drop.
A shock win over Manchester City would not have any bearing on their league position, but it would give them much-needed confidence heading into a crucial Premier League double against Crystal Palace and Middlesbrough.
In other West Ham news, the Hammers have reportedly abandoned their attempts to sign this PL striker.