With Manchester City in stunning form at home and Sam Allardyce’s West Ham side springing plenty of surprises this season, this clash is sure to be a cracker.
Here are some of the key battles that could decide the outcome of this Capital One Cup Semi-Final.
Edin Dzeko v Roger Johnson
West Ham’s new loan signing is likely to be thrust straight into the action against Manchester City given the Londoners’ current backline crisis.
The centre-back has proven top level ability, but after a spell falling through the divisions with Wolves he will have to be at his very best to stop the Sky Blues’ fearsome attacking options in what is sure to be a tough trip to the north of England.
Edin Dzeko has scored four goals in the Capital One Cup this season, and is likely to start at the Etihad Stadium, in just three games and has been clinical up front for the blue side of Manchester. Manuel Pellegrini has a lot of quality up top this year and with Edin Dzeko in this form, City should do well in this Semi-Final clash.
Yaya Toure v Ravel Morrison
Manchester City’s goals galore performances don’t often come around without Yaya Toure playing a part in the action. The Ivorian has proved that he’s an all round midfielder – scoring goals, nabbing assists and breaking up opposing attacks. Manuel Pellegrini will be looking for a good performance from the ex-Barcelona midfielder if the Citizens are to progress to the Final.
Ravel Morrison seems to have turned over a new leaf in his football career, having been released from United by Sir Alex Ferguson, reluctantly mind you, in an attempt to bring out the best in the England U21 star. This season has seen Morrison play his best football yet, scoring five goals in all competitions. The young midfielder played well last time he faced City, helping set up Ricardo Vaz Te’s goal and pleasing the crowd with a few tricks here and there and Sam Allardyce will hope that his influence can help carry the Hammers to the Capital One Cup Final this time around.
Mohamed Diame v David Silva
With captain Kevin Nolan out of action trough suspension, Mohamed Diame looks likely to have a tough night keeping Manchester City’s numerous creative talents quiet. Although he is not just a destroyer, the Senegalese midfielder will likely be tasked with tracking the elusive David Silva – who has so often been the creative force in Manuel Pellegrini’s ranks – thanks to his physical presence and fierce determination.
Silva has found his form again after a poor season last year. Pellegrini’s confidence boost that he has given his playmaker has seen his side find a devastating scoring streak, with the pass maker at the heart of every attack.
The Spaniard has also scored five goals in all competitions this year and will be a real threat against West Ham. If Sam Allardyce can stop this little wizard then it’ll give the London club a real chance of reaching the Final.
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