Sunday's big match preview

ONLY ONE thing is for certain about Sunday s clash between West Ham and moneybags Manchester City and that is that Craig Bellamy will be about as welcome at Upton Park as a bacon sandwich at a bar mitzvah! Perhaps the other thing that may be certain is th

ONLY ONE thing is for certain about Sunday's clash between West Ham and moneybags Manchester City and that is that Craig Bellamy will be about as welcome at Upton Park as a bacon sandwich at a bar mitzvah!

Perhaps the other thing that may be certain is the the Welsh striker will score on Sunday adding to the two-goal tally he has managed since his �14million January move to Eastlands.

Brazilian star Robinho is also likely to face West Ham for the first time at the weekend, although with City taking on Copenhagen in the UEFA Cup on Thursday, manager Mark Hughes may be tempted to chop and change his starting line-up.

One man who won't be there is Shaun Wright-Phillips, who will serve the final game of his three-match ban, while Mark Noble is also suspended for the Hammers.


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As well as signing Bellamy during the transfer window, City also splashed the cash on Wayne Bridge from Chelsea, Nigel De Jong from Hamburg and Shay Given from Newcastle, but it has made little difference to their overall form.

They managed a 1-1 draw at Anfield at the weekend thanks to a Bellamy goal, but they have only won one away game all season in the Premier League - a 3-0 victory at Sunderland way back in August.

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City currently sit 10th in the table, just one point behind West Ham, and with Robinho having grabbed 12 goals this season and midfielder Stephen Ireland 10, they will certainly be a threat going forward.

Given has bolstered the defence a little, but they still look fragile and West Ham will be looking to take full advantage of that on Sunday.

History seems to be in Manc-hester City's corner.

They have won the last two league encounters at Upton Park 2-0 and 1-0, as well as grabbing a draw in the FA Cup last season.

They also thumped the Hammers 3-0 at Eastlands back in August with Daniel Sturridge and Elano (2) scoring the goals as Noble was sent off in the first half.

The Hammers are not at the top of their game at the moment, but hopefully spurred by an FA Cup victory at Middlesbrough tonight, they can follow it up by beating City on Sunday.

It won't be easy, but you can't help thinking that City will not relish the ridiculously early start and if West Ham begin well, they should grab the points.

Probable team: Given, Richards, Dunne, Onuoha, Bridge, Zabaleta, De Jong, Kompany, Ireland, Bellamy, Robinho.

Prediction:

West Ham 3 Man City 1

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