Manchester City v West Ham preview: Hosts look for 13th straight win on Super Sunday
By Stephen Mills
Last Updated: 03/12/17 3:37pm
Manchester City will look to continue their unbeaten run when they host struggling West Ham, live on Sky Sports on Sunday (kick-off 4pm).
Pep Guardiola's side were within moments of dropping points for only the second time this season before Raheem Sterling scored a 96th-minute winner at home to Southampton on Wednesday evening, which ensured City started the weekend eight points clear at the top of the table.
It would be a major shock if West Ham, currently in the relegation zone having only picked up one point from David Moyes' three games in charge so far, could prevent City from equalling a Premier League record of 13 consecutive victories in one season.
The match will mark the first time defender Pablo Zabaleta has returned to Manchester City, the club he represented for nine years, following his summer switch to West Ham, but on-loan goalkeeper Joe Hart will not be involved against his parent club.
Leroy Sane is back in training and available for the game after missing the clash with Southampton through illness.
Sane, like captain Vincent Kompany and midfielder Fernandinho, is one booking away from suspension and they would miss next week's Manchester derby if they pick up a yellow card on Sunday. Guardiola has admitted that may influence his team selection for West Ham.
The City boss has also confirmed he will rotate his starting XI ahead of a busy December schedule with Fernandinho among the players who may be given a rest. Defenders John Stones (hamstring) and Benjamin Mendy (knee) are their only absentees.
Adrian will start in goal for West Ham with Hart ineligible due to the terms of his loan deal.
Forwards Andy Carroll (knee) and Javier Hernandez (hamstring) will both miss the game through injury, while Winston Reid's fitness will be assessed ahead of the game. The defender was substituted after 77 minutes of Wednesday's defeat to Everton with a hamstring problem.
Jose Fonte (ankle) remains a long-term absentee.
Manchester City's winning run in the Premier League is now at 12 games - the only two teams to go on a longer winning run within a single Premier League season are Chelsea (13 in 2016/17) and Arsenal (13 in 2001/02).
The all-time Premier League and top-flight record for consecutive wins (not just in a single season) is held by Arsenal; who recorded 14 successive victories in the Premier League back in between February-August 2002.
Manchester City have won nine of the 11 Premier League games against West Ham at the Etihad Stadium (D1 L1), scoring in each match.
West Ham's only win at the Etihad Stadium in the Premier League came in September 2015 (2-1), which ended City's then club-record 11 consecutive Premier League wins.
Pep Guardiola has won all three of his previous meetings with West Ham, by an aggregate score of 12-1.
West Ham were atrocious at Everton apart from a 20-minute spell after half-time. I dread to think what's going to happen here against a team with such a ruthless mentality like City. They could have a field day. I'm going for 4-0.
PAUL PREDICTS: 4-0 (12/1 with Sky Bet)
Manchester City are just 1/9 with Sky Bet to secure the victory with odds of 18/1 stacked against West Ham, while the draw is priced at 17/2. Sergio Aguero heads the first goalscorer betting as nine City players are priced at shorter odds than 12/1 shot Javier Hernandez, while Raheem Sterling is 4/1 to be the last goalscorer yet again.