Date: 8th May 2010 at 3:45pm
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For the last time in this campaign, Gary Owen joins VMC to preview our end of season encounter at Upton Park in Laandaarn Taarn…

Vital Quotes:

Gary Owen:

‘We have to get a result at West Ham otherwise Villa who are at home to Blackburn could leapfrog us. Having said that, Blackburn have crept back towards the top ten with good form since Christmas. You would think Villa would beat them on the last game of the season, but Sam’s team have improved. With our superior goal difference over Villa in mind, we can’t afford to get beaten at West Ham.

‘Obviously we’d like to go out on a high with us taking more than 3,000 fans who were expecting the battle for fourth place to go to the last game of the season which it almost did. The one thing about Manchester City fans is that we have been so used to disappointment that our fans will go to London and enjoy the day. But at the end of it, they will want to see their team win on Sunday and secure a best ever Premiership finish and points tally. Again, the season has been an improvement and we are in Europe.’

Roberto Mancini:

‘It’s important we finish in fifth position. To finish above Aston Villa and Liverpool is most important. I may change one or two players for the game, but we want to win it. We’ve played a good season. Next year we can win something.’

Gianfranco Zola:

‘There is no point in me saying whether I want to stay or not. Let me talk to the club first. I don’t know what the owners are going to say. I am not very good at promoting myself, but we will see what the outcome is when we are there.

‘If you ask me what I am going to say I honestly don’t know. People are allowed to doubt my job because it might not have been good – but the passion, work and effort we put into the job was massive and the people understand that, which I appreciate.’

Vincent Kompany:

‘West Ham is going to be an important game. We want to finish fifth, we owe it to our fans. We want fifth place, which will be one step closer to fourth for next season and maybe even better than that.

‘I think next season we are going to look even stronger because the people in charge of this club are very clever people and will know exactly what to do.’

Nigel De Jong:

‘It’s been a wonderful season and we’ve got to thank the fans who have stood behind us. We’ve shown a great fighting spirit .We’ve got to take fifth place and then build towards next season.

Carlos Tévez:

‘My dream is to help this club become one of the biggest and most successful clubs in the world. We have the resources and belief that we can achieve our dreams.

‘What we’ve got to do next is forget about finishing in the top four – that is now a thing of the past – we now need to think about winning the Premier League – that is the right thing for this club and should be our next aim. We need to go all out for the title and that’s the mindset we need to have from next season.’

VMC City Video Link: Mancio West Ham Press Conference

West Ham United Team News:

Behrami and last season’s goalscorer in the corresponding fixture Collison will both miss this game through injury and in Collison’s serious case, certainly the next Man City fixture.

Meanwhile, Dyer, Hines and Ilunga are all crocked.

Player to watch: A Collective Spirit

Gary’s View:

‘What West Ham have tried to engender under Gianfranco Zola is a togetherness and a team spirit.

‘We’ve seen them force a late equaliser at Everton as an example of that and those players will want to support their manager. With people like Scott Parker in the team they will not want to be beaten on the last game of the season.

‘Without pointing one person out, we will be going up against a team who will be firing on all cylinders to get a result for Zola.’

Manchester City Team News:

City’s lengthening injury list has now been increased by the worrying ankle knack that risks ruining Gareth Barry’s World Cup hopes with England.

Otherwise, it’s as you were with Ireland, Given, Michael Johnson, Petrov and Lescott all sidelined.

Player to watch: Carlos Tévez

Gary’s View:

‘It will be interesting to see what team and formation Mancini starts with. Will Vieira start?

‘Carlos Tévez has already said something which I can understand to an extent, that if he scores he won’t celebrate out of respect for their fans. You don’t want a player thinking about what he’s going to do after he scores before scoring in the first place! I understand why he’s said it, and I don’t think for one second that he won’t be trying his heart out because that is the way he plays but surely he’ll want to get to 30 goals for the season.’

Match Facts & Stats

City’s 10 Game Mini Season Results So Far, (starting with Fulham away):

P: 9, W:5, L:3, D:1, F:19, A:8, Pts:17 out of 27, GD:+11

Both Sides Top Scorers (all competitions):

Tévez:29, Adebayor:14, Cole:10, Diamanti:8

El Apache has now scored a phenomenal 29 goals in 39 City starts

Head To Head City v West Ham:

League: City Wins: 38, Draws:12, Hammers Wins:33

All Competitions: City Wins: 40, Draws:14, Hammers Wins:35

If The Hammers fail to beat City, they will have recorded their lowest total of wins in a top flight campaign.

The Citizens have lost only 7 league fixtures this season. This equals the all time record in the top flight history of the club.

The Hammers have won only 2 league games in their last 11 run outs. Both were at home.

The Blues have won 6 league fixtures on the road in this campaign.

Tévez’s next goal would be his 50th in the Premier League and his 30th this season.

City have won twice in 9 Premier League games at West Ham.

West Ham have won only 1 of their last 7 league games against City.

Follow the action and debate live on Sunday via the popular VMC Live Match Thread in the VMC Forums:

West Ham United v Manchester City: Match Day Thread : KO Sunday 9th May 2010

VMC YouTwitFace Video Of The Week: City, West Ham And David Coleman At Upton Park In November 1971!

**A big thank you to Planet Blue for sticking with Vital Manchester City throughout this season. It’s been a blast and in the words of El Apache: ‘This is only the beginning.’**

Ref Watch:

South Africa bound Webby takes the train to London to take charge of his 40th game of the season….Bizarrely for such a yellow card flourishing mentalist, he didn’t book anyone in last week’s turgid nil niller between Stoke and Everton…! This will be he his 4th City game this season. He presided over our wins at Pompey and at home to Chelsea, but also our League Cup defeat at the swamp…. He’s reffed The Hammers twice thus far. A cup defeat at Bolton and a league draw at Everton….He’s another booking centurion and we think he’s booked more players than any other ref during this campaign.Current season record: Games:39, Yellow Cards:136 Red Cards:4

Match Prediction:

‘As Carlton Cole recently emphasized, West Ham’s season has been a disappointment and they will want to give something back to their fans on Sunday….It doesn’t matter what sort of team you play in, you don’t want to get beaten on the last day of the season. You want to give something back to your supporters who have followed you through all those other games and give them something to look forward to next season….West Ham away was never going to be an easy game and there is never an easy game there. Our job is to quieten them and get that first goal. Once that’s gone in, then we have to judge what character that West Ham team has got. Looking at the results this season, they show that when the going gets tough, West Ham go missing so we must put them back under that pressure….I would be surprised if we lost because I know the players will be aware of that fifth place finish. West Ham’s form has not been great, that’s why they are fourth from bottom. Providing we keep them quiet for the first 15-20 minutes as you should aim to do for every away game, I don’t see us getting beaten.’

Next Fixtures:

A: MCFC USA Pre Season Tour In July

H: Manchester United, Sat 14 Aug 12h45 BST

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