Following an impressive start to the season, as well as an exceptional run of form since the turn of the year – which has seen West Ham win seven, draw one and lose one of their nine Premier League fixtures in 2020, leaving Moyes’ side second in the top-flight form table – with just 13 games remaining of the current campaign, the fourth-placed Hammers are well in contention for Champions League qualification this term.
However, with Pep Guardiola’s table-toppers up next for Moyes’ side, West Ham’s European credentials will face a strenuous test, and, speaking on a recent episode of the U Irons podcast, Delaney discussed the 57-year-old’s potential game plan for the fixture.
He said: “Look, City will be the favourites, and rightly so. They’re extremely hard to play against at the moment and they’re in an incredibly rich vein of form. But, the only team since the turn of the year that are in form anywhere near as good as them, is us.
“I just think this is the sort of game that Moyes and the coaching team relish because they think, ‘We’ve got nothing to lose and we’re just gonna make it tough’. I think that Moyes’ game plan will be, ‘Let’s see if we can nick this 1-0’ and there’s no reason why we shouldn’t.
“It’s not the most likely outcome and probably the most likely outcome is the City win, but I can absolutely envisage us making ourselves tough to play against and with the attacking players we’ve got – particularly [Jesse] Lingard and [Michail] Antonio – on the break, we could be an absolute nightmare and just nick this one.”
Will West Ham actually finish in the top-four?
TIF Thoughts on Sam Delaney’s comments regarding the Manchester City fixture…
While West Ham did manage to hold Manchester City to a 1-1 draw earlier in the season, it must be said that Guardiola’s side – who are currently on a record-breaking run of 18 straight wins in all competitions – appear to pose a much greater threat than at the time of the previous meeting between the two sides, when the Hammers and City were level on eight points in 11th and 12th place respectively in the league standings.
Having said that, with Moyes’ side fresh off a London derby victory against Tottenham Hotspur last weekend, while also being in their own rich vein of form, perhaps the Champions League hopefuls could indeed pull off a shock victory against City, as Delaney suggests.