Watch out for City squad players

  • By: Ian Ogg
  • Last Updated: January 21 2014, 19:40 GMT

Ian Ogg thinks Stevan Jovetic and Marco Lopes could be the Manchester City players to watch against West Ham on Tuesday night.

Stevan Jovetic: Could finally get his chance to impress
Stevan Jovetic: Could finally get his chance to impress

West Ham United v Manchester City (1945 GMT)

There isn't a great deal to play for with the Citizens having already booked their place in the final courtesy of their first leg 6-0 hammering of the Hammers.

City cut through the West Ham defence at will and poor old Roger Johnson, who is still contracted to Sky Bet League 1 Wolves, looked like a rabbit in the headlights against some of the Premier League's best players with the leap up from the Championship, where he'd been playing for Sheffield Wednesday, a step too far.

Sam Allardyce is a realistic, pragmatic manager and he's a strong enough character to resist chasing a lost cause no matter the 'constructive advice' that he may or may not receive from the Boleyn faithful. It would be no surprise, therefore, were he to rest several of his key players despite not having a game on the Saturday while Manuel Pellegrini, too, is sure to make wholesale changes.

The Chilean has more depth and quality to his squad and any side that he puts out should prove more than capable of dispatching West Ham but can he motivate the side to get the job done?

No matter what the manager says, you often see sides take their foot off the pedal once they've built up an unassailable advantage and forming any hard and fast views on this game until the team sheets are in is no easy task while the first 10 minutes should tell punters a little more.

It should be a relatively easy week for City with Watford visiting the Etihad on Saturday and it would appear to be an ideal opportunity to give Stevan Jovetic a run out if the forward is over his injury problems. Both of his starts have come in this competition and he did net twice against Wigan but his last start was in October and he's entitled to be ring-rusty.

Back Manchester City to win 6-0 again at 66/1 with Sky Bet!

At a longer price, Marco Lopes is of some interest to score the first goal.

The young Portuguese came off the bench in the first leg of this semi-final and had his only start of the season in the game against Wigan. He impressed with his cameo at the Etihad and isn't shy of having a dig at goal.

He has scored four goals in seven starts for his national under-19 side and has scored five goals for City in the U19 Uefa Youth League with a hat-trick against Bayern Munich and a brace against Viktoria Plzen.

If Pellegrini names a strong line-up and Allardyce a weak one then prices like the 4/9 about an away win will vanish as will the even money half-time/full-time price about the Mancunians.

The team sheets will tell us more.

  • The match is being televised live in the UK by Sky Sports.

  • Posted at 1100 GMT on 20/01/2014.

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