The reigning champions of England march onto battle once more to defend their title. They will hope to kick off the season in grand style by winning with a considerably wide margin.
Man City lock horns with West Ham by 16:30 UK time in the London Stadium. Erling Haaland will most likely make his Premier League debut for City this evening and the visitors will wear their third kit attire.
Here are a few stats and facts ahead of the season’s opener.
• West Ham United endured a mini-slump towards the end of last season, winning just one of their final eight games, losing five.
• Manchester City are undefeated in their last 13 Premier League games against West Ham United (W10 D3).
• Manchester City have previously faced West Ham in their Premier League opener on three occasions, winning all three times without allowing a single goal, while scoring 11 in the process.
• Pep Guardiola’s side fell to a 1-0 defeat against Tottenham Hotspur in their opening game last season. In fact, they have lost their league opener in three of the last six seasons (W3).
• Manchester City’s new hitman, Erling Haaland, has netted ten goals in his last ten matches for club and country, while Jack Grealish boasts an impressive record against the Hammers, registering three goals and two assists in his last six competitive outings against them.
• Pep Guardiola’s side have drawn on their last three visits to the London Stadium in all competitions.
• City are unbeaten in their past 13 Premier League meetings with West Ham (W10, D3).
• The Hammers scored in all of their 19 top-flight home games last term. The only other time they have achieved this was in 1926-27.
Other than Aymeric Laporte, Guardiola has a fully fit squad for the match.David Moyes however, has confirmed that Ogbonna is not ready to play for the Hammers, although he is back in training. New signings Scamacca and Cornet will also be left out of the squad. Here is how the teams will possibly line up:
WEST HAM Goalkeeper: Fabianski
Defenders: Cresswell, Zouma, Dawson, Coufal
Midfielders: Soucek, Rice, Benrahma, Fornals, Bowen
MANCHESTER CITY Goalkeeper: Ederson
Defenders: Cancelo, Dias, Ake, Walker
Midfielders: Rodri, Bernardo, De Bruyne
Strikers: Foden, Haaland, Mahrez
FINAL SCORE PREDICTION West Ham 0 – 4 Manchester City
West Ham have always been a stubborn opponent for Pep Guardiola, but he always seems to be up to the task. His side will look to capitalise on Liverpool’s loss of points in their tie with Fulham yesterday. If Man City want to claim the PL title again, they will need to work from the very beginning, which is in a few hours.