West Ham manager Sam Allardyce says Manchester City may be a “wounded animal” and could be looking for a prompt response against the Irons on Sunday.

The two times league champions lost against rivals Manchester United 4-2 last week, denting their hopes of defending the title.

But, he said, there might also be a weakening of resolve in the Sky Blues.

He said: “If there are any weaknesses in Manchester City’s team that we can take advantage of then we’ll tactically lay that out over the next two days.

He said: “Maybe Manchester City are a wounded animal and will come out all guns blazing on Sunday. We’ve got to get ready for both – whether they are a little tentative or exceptionally determined to make sure they get a positive result in front of their own fans.

“I’m very surprised that Manchester City have lost four away games on the trot – that’s a huge shock across the football world based on the huge amount of talent. Like ourselves, they can’t find a way to win at the moment.

“I watched them against Crystal Palace and Palace defended brilliantly. Manchester City are usually exceptionally good at breaking down defences – but they haven’t been able to manage it recently.

“It’s going to test their nerve a little bit and hopefully we can test their nerve. At home, they’ve always been very good so we know how hard it’s going to get something.”

With just one win in 10 matches, the Hammers will have to cope without top scorer Diafra Sakho, who could be out for up to six weeks with the thigh injury he suffered in last week’s 1-1 draw with Stoke City.