West Ham United vs Manchester City: Preview and Prediction
The defending champions have dominated their early-season fixtures, winning over Burnley, Newcastle United, Sheffield United, and Fulham, securing all 12 points. However, they’ll encounter a formidable challenge from fourth-placed West Ham.
On the other hand, West Ham has undergone a dramatic turnaround early in the season. Despite beginning the season without new signings, the Hammers have remained unbeaten so far. With West Ham’s newfound momentum, David Moyes’s men will be confident of causing an upset at the London Stadium.
City has begun their season from where they left off. The treble winners are on top of the table with 4 out of 4 wins. The Citizens played their last two games without manager Pep Guardiola, who was recovering after a back surgery.
The squad, fresh off an international break, enters the match on a high note, with star striker Erling Haaland’s impressive second-half hat trick sealing a resounding 5-1 victory against Fulham.
Meanwhile, West Ham is also high on momentum gathering 10 points from their first four league fixtures. After starting the season with a 1-1 draw against relegation favorites Bournemouth, things were looking bleak but the London-based outfit outfoxed Chelsea 3-1 with 10 men on the pitch and followed it up with another 3-1 win against the in-form Brighton & Hove Albion.
In their latest outing, the Hammers secured their third consecutive Premier League win with a 2-1 victory against Luton Town.
Head to Head Record
Talking about the head-to-head record between these two clubs, Pep Guardiola’s men have had an upper hand over the Hammers in the past.
In 43 meetings in the past, City has emerged victorious 30 times, while West Ham has won only five encounters. Since 2016, West Ham has had 0 wins against City in 19 matches in all competitions managing to secure only three draws.
Pep Guardiola will be back on the sidelines as he has returned to Manchester after undergoing a back surgery. However, the City boss will be without a few key players in the tricky clash. Kevin de Bryune is already out for the next 3-4 months after he underwent hamstring surgery.
Mateo Kovacic, who has been crucial in City’s win in 4 matches, is doubtful for the clash after he suffered a back injury during the international break. Another new signing Matheus Nunes could make his debut.
However, the title holders hope to have both John Stones and Jack Grealish available for this match. Stones has not featured in the Premier League this season after picking up a thigh injury, while Grealish was not available for the Fulham clash due to a similar injury.
West Ham, on the other hand, is also battling a few injuries. Vladimir Coufal and Tomas Soucek are not fully fit and the Czechia duo will be assessed ahead of the game with the right-back missing the Czech Republic’s Euro qualifier against Hungary on Sunday.
The Hammers could hand a debut to Konstantinos Mavropanos if he recovers in time after undergoing treatment due to a lower back injury. Mohammed Kudus would also be hoping for more minutes after featuring in stoppage time as a late substitute for Lucas Paqueta against Luton Town on 2nd September.
Predicted Starting XIs
West Ham United (4-2-3-1): Alphonse Areola; Vladimír Coufal, Kurt Zouma, Nayef Aguerd, Emerson Palmieri; James Ward-Prowse, Edson Alvarez; Jarrod Bowen, Lucas Paqueta, Saïd Benrahma; Michail Antonio
Manchester City (4-2-3-1): Ederson; Kyle Walker, Ruben Dias, Manuel Akanji, Nathan Ake; Rodri, John Stones; Julian Alvarez, Bernardo Silva, Jack Grealish; Erling Haaland.
Both teams are in red-hot form and are coming into this game undefeated. Defeating the likes of Brighton & Hove Albion and Chelsea has put a motivation boost in Moyes’ men but they would be encountering a very different challenge in the form of the defending champions, albeit at home.
However, with the kind of players City have, Pep Guardiola’s men are slight favourites to edge out the home side at the London Stadium.