By Daniel Lewis

15th Sep, 2023 | 3:40pm

West Ham United: James Ward-Prowse named as 'big factor' to upsetting Manchester City

James Ward-Prowse will be “the big factor” in any hope West Ham have of upsetting Manchester City, according to BBC Sport pundit Nedum Onuoha.

City travel to the London Stadium on Saturday [16 September] sitting top of the table as the only team to have taken 12 points from 12 so far.

West Ham have also made a fast start, winning three and drawing one of their first four games, making for an intriguing contest this weekend.

Speaking on the FPL Pod [14 September, 36:16], former City defender Onuoha identified Ward-Prowse as the man to watch from the Hammers’ perspective.

“We’ve seen in recent weeks that West Ham have been able to play with the ball and without the ball,” he said. “They’ve managed to get wins and hit on the break or control games.

“If they are to get something against Man City, the key person, I don’t think it will be [Jarrod] Bowen or [Michail] Antonio. The key will be Ward-Prowse providing for those two or form set-pieces.

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“If they are to break down City that’s one of the ways they will do it. I think he could be a big factor in that game in terms of changing the dynamic.”


West Ham tend to struggle when they face Pep Guardiola’s City, but – and say this quietly – this could be a game that suits the Hammers perfectly.

David Moyes’ side showed in the 3-1 win over Brighton and Hove Albion last month that they can thrive when playing on the counter-attack.

That will likely be the case again this weekend, even though they are playing at home, and there will of course be opportunities for Ward-Prowse to trouble City through set-pieces.

The summer signing has been superb in that regard since joining, having assisted three goals and scored one of his own in three appearances.

Of course, it may well be that City bring their A-game, as they so often have in recent years, in which case there is not a lot that can be done.

But it says a lot that supporters are going into this match with quiet hope of potentially nicking a point from the European champions.

If that is to be the case, Ward-Prowse – fitness depending – will likely have a big part to play in that.

In other West Ham news, the Hammers appear to have launched a charm offensive in their pursuit of one of their high-profile targets.