West Ham vs Manchester City: Preview and Prediction￼
David Moyes and West Ham will commence their Premier League 2022-23 against the current holders, Manchester City. The Hammers’ fixture against Pep Guardiola’s men at the London Stadium will close out the GW 1 of this season’s PL.
Moyes’ side had a largely positive campaign last season. However, it would be fair to say for them to get knocked out of the UEFA Europa League and finish 7th due to their final day defeat, did seem a tad bit underwhelming.
Manchester City, on the other hand, managed to clinch yet another league title under Guardiola. The Citizens showed resilience on the final day after being two down against Aston Villa to clinch the game 3-2 and take home the trophy.
West Ham scheduled a lengthy pre-season compared to others. The Hammers played seven pre-season friendlies before the start of the league. They started their preparations with two back-to-back wins against Servette and Ipswich Town.
However, what followed was a run of 5 games without a win to end their pre-season. This included draws against the likes of Boreham Wood, Reading, Luton, Lens and a 3-1 thrashing from Rangers.
On top of the underwhelming results, the Hammers also lost their £30m-plus arrival centre-back Nayek Aguerd, who sustained an ankle injury and will be out for a couple more weeks. Apart from Thomas Soucek looking back to his old self, it would be really difficult to pick the positives for the Londoners.
One would assume that Pep Guardiola prefers preparing his players on the training ground rather than playing friendlies as his side only played three pre-season friendlies.
Kevin De Bruyne’s brace against Club America gave his side a 2-1 victory followed by a statement win over Bayern Munich. The Blues showed great character defensively to secure the win against the German giants. However, his side, in the end, came well short against bitter rivals Liverpool in the Community Shield. The Reds took the cup by three goals to one.
Head to Head Record
With Manchester City being so dominant for the last 5-6 years, it is pretty easy to assume that they take the bragging rights in head-to-head records. However, Moyes and West Ham did manage to go toe to toe with them on several occasions last season.
In fact, West Ham knocked Man City out of the EFL cup, a competition which City dominated. What followed was a hard-fought City win at the Etihad and a 2-2 draw at the London Stadium which brought a little edge to the title picture.
As mentioned above, new signing Nayef Aguerd sustained a really bad knock on his ankle in the pre-season and an official timeline is yet to be shared by West Ham on his return. The Hammers will also be without Issa Diop who is nursing a minor injury.
Gianluca Scamacca would be available to make his debut. It would be interesting to see whether Moyes puts him straight into the starting XI or lets him settle into the league.
Manchester City will be without Aymeric Laporte after the defender underwent surgery recently. John Stones is also rumoured to be missing this one. Hence, Ruben Dias should be lining up with Nathan Ake who had a positive pre-season.
Big Money signing Erling Haaland will be hoping to make a dream start on his Premier League debut, especially after that game against Liverpool. While Julian Alvarez did score against Liverpool, it would be fair to assume that his contribution should be off the bench rather than starting.
Predicted Starting Lineups
West Ham (4-3-3): Ederson; Kyle Walker, Ruben Dias, Nathan Ake, Joao Cancelo; Rodri, Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva; Riyad Mahrez, Erling Haaland, Phil Foden.
Manchester City (4-3-2-1): Lucas Fabianski; Coufal, Craig Dawson, Kurt Zouma, Aaron Cresswell; Thomas Soucek, Declan Rice, Pablo Fornals; Jarrod Bowen, Said Benrahama; Michail Antonio.
Manchester City has gained this unwanted reputation of being slow starters in the league. Pep Guardiola’s side usually tends to take some time to gel up and perform at their highest level. West Ham would be looking to make a statement to the traditional top 6 and beating Manchester City would certainly be the way. We predict a 2-1 win for West Ham, courtesy of City again falling short early in the season.