West Ham United (a blanketing 4-5-1): Fabianski; Coufal, Zouma, Dawson, Cresswell; Rice, Soucek, Lanzini, Fornals, Bowen; Antonio. Subs: Areola, Yarmolenko, Vlasic, Noble, Fredericks, Masuaku, Johnson, Kral, Oko-Flex.
Manchester City (an implacable 4-3-3-): Ederson; Cancelo, Fernandinho, Laporte, Zinchenko; Rodri, De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva; Mahrez, Jesus, Grealish. Subs: Steffen, Ake, Sterling, Gundogan, Foden, Egan-Riley, Mbete, Palmer, Lavia.
One hundred points; 98 points; 81 points; 86 points; 89 points and counting; however you slice it, the evidence insists that Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City have near-enough mastered domestic football. Never before has a team accumulated such tallies, nor demanded such tallies of opponents simply to get in the race. Frankly, it’s ridiculous
And, should City win today, they’ll be on the cusp of a second successive title, a fourth in five years. They’ll not want to allow Jürgen Klopp’s messianic monsters even the prospect of a final-day goal-race, so won’t be celebrating if they get a result this afternoon, but it’s impossible to see them not getting the four points they need to be champions just as it’s been impossible to see them dropping points in the run-in; domestic football, near-enough mastered.
So what can West Ham do to stop them? Er, maybe a lot and maybe a little. David Moyes’ men have enjoyed another superb season, and on a good day are a brutal prospect for any side, especially given their need to qualify for the Europa League. But over the last few weeks they’ve been slowly seeping gas – they’ve not won in the league since the start of last month – and the disappointment of semi-final defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt will be still extremely sore. They’ll need to mine their deepest recesses of nastiness and remorselessness to dredge up a performance today – but make no mistake, they are capable.
Kick-off: 2pm BST