BBC Sport pundit states his prediction for Man City v West Ham
Mark Lawrenson is backing Manchester City to beat West Ham in the Premier League this weekend
Mark Lawrenson is backing Manchester City to bounce back to winning ways in the Premier League with a comfortable 3-0 victory over West Ham United on Sunday.
The Citizens head into the game looking to seal a win after the disappointment of their 2-0 loss to Tottenham Hotspur in north London last time out.
Manchester City are currently second in the Premier League table and a staggering 22 points behind leaders Liverpool FC, but they can close that gap down to 19 points with victory over the Hammers this weekend as the Reds enjoy their winter break.
Pep Guardiola’s defending champions have lost three and drawn six of their opening 25 games in the Premier League this season.
And former Liverpool FC defender Lawrenson is fully expecting to see Guardiola’s men claim the three points on Sunday afternoon.
Writing in his column for BBC Sport, Lawrenson said: “Manchester City’s defeat by Tottenham on Sunday summed up their season.
“They should have been in front and out of sight long before they were reduced to 10 men and fell behind soon afterwards.
“Again, City conceded with the first shot they faced in the game, this time in the 63rd minute.
“Sometimes, when you are on a run where that keeps happening, as a player you sometimes expect it – you are in control of the game but you haven’t taken your chances and you start thinking “when is the crazy moment coming?”
“It has just been one of those seasons for City, but I would still be very surprised if they don’t finish second.
“I would also be shocked if they don’t beat West Ham on Sunday.
“This Hammers team cannot defend at the moment, as we saw against Brighton last weekend, so City are going to get plenty of chances to find the net this time.
“West Ham know they are in a relegation dogfight now, but the problem is they knew that last Saturday too, and it did not seem to help them.
“They were great when they were 3-1 up against the Seagulls, but the way they are conceding goals and dropping points from winning positions – 19 this season, a Premier League high – is a massive worry.
“That is an issue for their players too, because it will affect their mindset.
“Even when they go a goal in front, everyone kind of takes a step back because they know what is coming, and it is very difficult to change that mentality.”
Manchester City will travel to third-placed Leicester City in their first Premier League game after their winter break.
After that, they will switch their attentions towards preparing for their Champions League last 16 showdown against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu on Wednesday 26 February.