April 27, 2013
Hamstrung City trio fit to go
Team Stat Comparison
|Manchester City||West Ham United|
|Goals for *||2.2||0.6|
|Goals against *||0.8||1.6|
|Last 5 home||L-W-W-W-W||W-D-W-D-W|
|Last 5 away||W-D-L-W-L||L-L-D-D-L|
|* Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club|
|Stats: Manchester City | West Ham United|
Manchester City have David Silva, James Milner and Sergio Aguero all available following hamstring problems for the Barclays Premier League clash with West Ham at the Etihad Stadium.
Playmaker Silva has missed the past three games while striker Aguero was an unused substitute in last weekend's defeat by Tottenham and winger Milner was forced off at half-time in that game.
Midfielder Jack Rodwell has been out for almost two months with his latest hamstring problem but could be available while defenders Maicon and Micah Richards (both knee) are not yet ready for a return to first-team action.
Boss Roberto Mancini will focus on ending the season as strongly as possible before turning his thoughts to the summer.
The Barclays Premier League title had been slipping away from City for some months but their challenge was officially ended on Monday when Manchester United clinched the trophy with victory over Aston Villa.
City still have five matches to play as well as the FA Cup final in two weeks' time, where they will be strong favourites to beat Wigan.
Mancini said: "I think that maybe we made some mistakes. We did everything to win this title but they did better than us.
"I don't think the gap is correct but we have five games, we have time to recover six or seven points. This is possible but in the end it doesn't change anything because they deserve this.
"I think also when you win you can make some mistakes. Every day we can make a mistake. It is important you understand where we made this mistake.
"In this moment, it is important to finish well this season and then we have three, four months to improve our team.''
With West Ham safe in mid-table, there is little at stake, but Mancini is expecting a tough battle, particularly with Hammers striker Andy Carroll in good form.
The Italian said: "I think West Ham have had a good season, they've done very well. They showed this against United two weeks ago. It will be difficult, they are a physical team. Carroll is a strong striker.''
West Ham are without defensive pair James Tomkins (calf) and George McCartney (knee).
Midfielder Mark Noble could begin his first game since February after making two successive appearances from the substitutes' bench.
Midfielder Joe Cole, who also came off the bench against Wigan last weekend following his recovery from a hamstring problem, may make his first start since March 2.
Only an incorrectly chalked off goal by Kevin Nolan prevented the Hammers from taking all three points in the reverse fixture in November, which ended 0-0.
Back then City were the only unbeaten side in the top-flight, but a couple of bad runs - one in December and the other in February - saw the club's title challenge fade.
Manchester United took City's crown away from them on Monday night when they beat Aston Villa 3-0, just 24 hours after Mancini's side had collapsed to defeat at Tottenham.
Reid acknowledges that the draw at Upton Park will give his team confidence, but he admits City will be looking to prove a few critics - specifically those from across Manchester - that they are still a major force.
"We know that facing them on their own ground is going to be extra tough because as the former champions they will still want to finish the season well and grab that second place,'' said the New Zealand defender, who recently returned to action following a thigh injury.
"Even though they haven't got the title back they have an FA Cup final to go for and they will want to finish well.
"We were unlucky not to beat them back at Upton Park earlier in the season - our captain Kevin [Nolan] had a goal which was deemed offside and it ended up being a 0-0 draw."