Premier League Preview: West Ham v. Man City
- Man City aiming for three-peat
- West Ham debuts for Fornals, Haller
- City have 7-straight wins v. West Ham
West Ham United host Manchester City on Saturday (Watch live, 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) at the London Stadium, as the Hammers aim to spring an upset on the opening weekend of the season.
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Pep Guardiola and Man City are coming off the back of winning the FA Community Shield, as they look to get started on the right path this season. These two teams have already met in preseason, with City beating West Ham 4-1 in the PL Asia Trophy in China.
As for former Man City boss Manuel Pellegrini, he has loaded up his West Ham attack with Sebastian Haller and Pablo Fornals in line to make their debuts this weekend.
City have outscored West Ham 17-1 on their four previous visits to the London Stadium and it has been a happy hunting ground for Guardiola.
In team news City will be without Leroy Sane who has undergone ACL surgery on his right knee, while West Ham will be without skipper Mark Noble who has a dead leg.
West Ham: Fabianski; Zabaleta, Diop, Balbuena, Masuaku; Rice, Wilshere; Anderson, Fornals, Antonio; Haller
Man City: Ederson; Walker, Stones, Laporte, Zinchenko; Fernandinho, David Silva, De Bruyne; Bernardo Silva, Aguero, Sterling
What they’re saying
Pellegrini happy with West Ham’s summer: “I’m happy because we’ve completed the squad in the way I wanted: we have two players in each position - good players. I always think that the best way to deliver good performances from players is to have competition for their positions in the starting eleven, so we’ve done all that we needed to do.”
Guardiola on the goals for this season: “Tomorrow is trying to win, playing well, making mistakes to improve for the next time and trying to do that and play better in the next game. That is the only way to arrive in April or May, to try and have success. Sometimes you have a good result, but you don’t play well. You don’t have success. The key point from our point of view is always to play better, individually and collectively. That is the only secret we have. Understand the game, make the players feel they need each other.”
Man City may be a little sluggish due to a lot of their players linking up with the team later in preseason, but they should take care of business quite comfortably. West Ham have upgraded their attack this offseason and there is a renewed sense of belief in east London that they can break into the top six. City will win this, 3-1.