Manchester City‘s title defence begins at West Ham United on Saturday lunch-time. The Hammers will prove a tough test for Pep Guardiola’s side and they will be hoping to pull off an upset to start the season. It will prove a thrilling encounter at the London Stadium and one that neither team will want to lose.
Manchester City Looking to Win at West Ham United
Opening Day Form
Manchester City have the better opening day record out of the two sides in recent seasons. They are unbeaten in their last ten on the opening day, winning nine of those fixtures being wins. Last season saw them win 2-0 away at Arsenal, gifting Unai Emery his first loss as Arsenal manager.
In contrast, West Ham have not started well since their return to the Premier League in the 2012/13 season. They have won three of their opening games in the last seven seasons. However, they have lost the last three on the trot, including last year’s 4-0 hammering away at Liverpool.
Manuel Pellegrini could hand new striker Sebastien Haller his debut, as he replaces Marko Arnautovic. The West Ham manager confirmed that goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski is likely to return in goal. However, speaking in his pre-match press conference, Pellegrini confirmed that Mark Noble will not feature. He said: “For the moment we have Mark still injured. He will not be fit for Saturday.”
Manchester City will have to do without winger Leroy Sane at the London Stadium. He picked a cruciate ligament injury in their victory over Liverpool in the Community Shield.
Manchester City v West Ham Prediction
Expect a game dominated by the reigning champions Saturday lunchtime. Manchester City will dominate the ball in large parts of the game and should come away with the three points at West Ham.