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Man City likely to pour on the misery for West Ham and Allardyce

West Ham are 18/1 with Coral to beat Manchester City at the Etihad on Wednesday night in the first leg of the Capital One Cup semi-final and to put those odds in perspective, that’s an even bigger price than was offered Division One strugglers Oldham to beat Liverpool at Anfield last weekend.

Gus Poyet has said that he and his players are treating Sunderland’s last-four tie with Manchester United as a pleasant distraction from their Premier League woes, but I doubt very much whether Sam Allardyce feels the same way.

In fact, if ever there was a game that Big Sam and his hapless Hammers could do without after the humiliation of that 5-0 defeat to Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup, it is a long trip to the north west to face the rampant title favourites, a team which has been averaging close to four goals per game at home this season.

The on-loan signing of Roger Johnson from Wolves should help stiffen the West Ham defence, while there’s talk that Andy Carroll could be back in action very soon – extremely welcome news for a team averaging less than a goal per game this campaign.

Allardyce is down to the bare bones of his squad, a predicament recognised by co-chairmen David Gold and David Sullivan, but however much sympathy may come from upstairs, we all know that in most cases the backing that counts most of all is from the terraces – and when the fans start singing the praises of Paulo Di Canio you know it’s serious.

Player pride will ensure that West Ham don’t roll over, but though strange things do happen in Cup ties, it is difficult to imagine anything other than the sort of City win that would virtually guarantee them a place in the Wembley final.on March 2nd.

The biggest threat to the home side is complacency, but you would think that City will have learned their lesson after last season’s FA Cup Final defeat to Wigan.

West Ham will be desperate to avoid the embarrassment of another 5-0 thrashing (14/1 with Coral), but all logic points to a handsome City win, maybe 3-0 (13/2) or 4-0 (17/2).

Coral are also offering some Capital One Cup specials this week, including an appealing 4/7 that City outscore the other three sides in the semi-final and 4/11 that the two ties go to form and we have an all-Manchester final.