West Ham could offer Manchester City perfect tonic after derby humbling

Manuel Pellegrini

Under-fire West Ham United could offer Manchester City the perfect pick-me-up after their 4-2 defeat in the Manchester derby on Sunday.

Louis van Gaal's Manchester United side outclassed their rivals and current champions City to consign them to a fourth Premier League defeat in the last six games.

But beleaguered City boss Manuel Pellegrini, who has told Sky Sports his side's season has been 'garbage', could be in line for the perfect tonic when he welcomes a manager whose job is also the subject of intense speculation as Sam Allardyce visits the Etihad next time out.

Allardyce's Hammers have won just two games since Christmas during their tumble down from fourth to midtable. But City will be further buoyed by the fact the East Londoners have only won three games on their travels all season.

As any West Ham fan will tell you, whenever your team needs a result, or if your striker hasn't scored for a year - as was the case when Stoke City's Marko Arnautović struck a 95th minute equaliser in their 1-1 draw on Saturday - the Hammers are usually the side to hand it to them.

The Hammers have been comfortable since Christmas but have failed to kick on in a season that promised so much.

City, on the other hand, are dealing with far loftier expectations and will be desperate to restore some pride and fend off any late pressure from the likes of Southampton, Tottenham and Liverpool for the last Champions League spot.

Manchester City are four places above Sunday's visitors in the Premier League form table in 13th place. West Ham's near relegation form has put them in 17th in the standings based on form.

Although West Ham upset the odds when they beat City 2-1 at Upton Park back in October, they have little other than pride to play for as the season peters out into something of a damp squib.

Pellegrini's side will be overwhelming favourites at home, particularly with the Irons' main striker Diafra Sakho likely to be sidelined until at least May.

Whatever the result it may prove too little too late for either manager with both expected to be replaced by their respective chairmen come the summer.

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