Without a win in their last five games, West Ham travel north tomorrow to face the reigning Premier League champions.
Moyes has suffered a poor start to his second tenure as West Ham manager. After replacing Manuel Pelligrini, the Scotsman has captured 2 points from a possible 15 and has a win percentage of just 20% – the second lowest of any manager in the league.
Manchester City like to attack. For Pep Guardiola, attack is the best for of defence. His ailing City side have conceded 43% more goals at this point of the season than they had last year. The inability to keep clean sheets has heightened City’s attacking instincts, which has exposed the vulnerability of the defence. If there was ever a good time to play Man City, it is now.
To have any chance of winning, Moyes must organise his side with the explicit intention of attacking quickly and directly. City have not looked the same this season when moving from attack to defence; when the ball is turned over, the hammers must strike.
Traore’s pace and power rocked the Etihad earlier this season when Wolves unexpectedly defeated the champions 2-0. Michael Antonio is West Ham’s only player that possess the ability to replicate the terror Traore struck into City’s defenders.
The creativity in West Ham’s midfield should provide the perfect lubricant for Antonio to flourish. When possession is turned over, the ball must be released into the forward spaces for Antonio to run onto. The only question then is whether the mercurial forward can deliver in front of goal.