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A comprehensive West Ham v Man City match preview follows and you can also read The Script's 2019/20 season previews for West Ham here and Man City here, as well as BTSport.com's Premier League 2019/20 previews for West Ham here and Man City here.
West Ham v Man City: Match preview
The Premier League is back and BT Sport’s first early kick-off promises to be a cracker as Manchester City begin the defence of their title with a trip to east London to face West Ham.
It’s been a busy summer of transfer activity at the London Stadium with around £70 million splashed out on Sebastien Haller and Pablo Fornals, with the likes of Marko Arnautovic heading out of the exit door.
Hammers fans are desperate to see Haller in particular hit the ground running and quickly dispel the recent curse of the West Ham striker.
Since David Gold and David Sullivan took over in January 2010 the club have signed 38 different forwards – in total they’ve scored just 203 goals in 957 goals in all competitions.
Frenchman Haller, a club-record £45 million arrival from Eintracht Frankfurt, should have plenty of opportunities this season. Fornals, a Spanish international, joins Felipe Anderson, Andriy Yarmolenko and Manuel Lanzini in providing creativity and flair from the attacking midfield positions.
With Declan Rice impressing last season as the pivot and Issa Diop and Fabian Balbuena forming a solid defensive partnership ahead of Lukasz Fabianski in goal, West Ham’s starting XI looks the best they’ve boasted in recent memory.
Manuel Pellegrini, a former Premier League winner with City, is an impressive, experienced coach who is now rid of the dressing room distraction that Arnautovic’s antics provided.
Unfortunately they are up against the treble-winners and they have a miserable record against them with City utterly dominant over the past decade.
West Ham have won just twice in their past 21 meetings in all competitions and have lost their last four home matches against City by scorelines of 0-4, 1-4, 0-4 and 0-5.
The teams met in pre-season this summer at the Premier League Asia Trophy with a similar outcome – City running out 4-1 winners in Nanjing, China.
City were far from their best during their Community Shield victory on penalties over Liverpool but still produced flashes of the brilliance that lit up the previous campaign.
New signing Rodri, playing in the holding midfield position, looks to have settled in quickly while last season’s standout player Raheem Sterling got off the mark early with a goal against his former club.
Pep Guardiola revealed City were priced out of a move for Harry Maguire, who instead joined rivals Manchester United in a world-record £80 million deal for a defender.
Yet Nicolas Otamendi and John Stones impressed enough at Wembley to suggest City won’t be too damaged by the summer departure of club captain Vincent Kompany to Anderlecht.
Guardiola’s men will once again be the team to beat this season and will bid to lay down a marker in their first game of the season.
After securing 100 points in 2017/18 and 98 last season, City will be confident of getting their first three on the board at the London Stadium.
West Ham v Man City: The managers
West Ham boss Pellegrini: "I'm happy because we have completed the squad in the way we wanted. We have two players in each position, good players too, and the best way is to have competition.
"I want to see us to start this season in the way that we finished the last one. We have a tough game against Manchester City but we are confident that we will not be scared because they are the champions."
City coach Guardiola: "Never when I start the season do I have to win one title, or two, or four or five - I think that is ridiculous.
"The key point from our point of view is always to play better, individually and collectively. What we did last season will not be enough. We have to do a little bit more. That is the target."
West Ham v Man City: Team news
New Hammers signings Haller and Fornals are set to make their debuts for the club. Lukasz Fabianski and Jack Wilshere have been passed fit but skipper Mark Noble will miss the tie with a dead leg.
For City, Rodri and Joao Cancelo could make their Premier League bows after arriving this summer.
Guardiola confirmed that Leroy Sane suffered ligament damage and will miss "around six or seven months".
West Ham v Man City: Head-to-head
West Ham have an awful record against Manchester City, losing each of their last six in the Premier League and winning just two of their past 21 meetings in all competitions. Previous five meetings (not counting this summer's Asia Trophy match that City won 4-1):
|27/02/19||Premier League||Man City 1-0 West Ham||Aguero (pen)|
|24/11/18||Premier League||West Ham 0-4 Man City||David Silva, Sterling, Sane (2)|
|29/04/18||Premier League||West Ham 1-4 Man City||Cresswell; Sane, Zabaleta og, Jesus, Fernandinho|
|03/12/17||Premier League||Man City 2-1 West Ham||Otamendi, David Silva; Ogbonna|
|01/02/17||Premier League||West Ham 0-4 Man City||De Bruyne, David Silva, Jesus, Toure (pen)|
West Ham v Man City: Key stats
- The reigning Premier League champions have only lost their opening match of the next league season on two previous occasions: Leicester City in 2016-17 (1-2 away at Hull City) and Chelsea in 2017-18 (2-3 at home to Burnley).
- Manchester City have won their last seven competitive matches against West Ham United by an aggregate score of 23-
- Manchester City have won more competitive games at the London Stadium against West Ham than any other away team (4).
- Manchester City have scored 17 goals against West Ham at the London Stadium; eight more goals than any other opposition side away at the Hammers in this ground.
- For the sixth consecutive campaign, West Ham are kicking off their Premier League season against one of the ‘big six’ sides, with Man City being the sixth different side they’ve faced in that time. The Hammers have lost four of their previous five, with the exception being a 2-0 win at Arsenal in 2015-16.
- Manchester City are unbeaten in their last 10 opening Premier League fixtures (W9 D1), winning each of the last eight. Victory here will see them equal Chelsea’s Premier League record of nine successive opening day wins between 2002-03 and 2010-11.
- West Ham United have won three of their last five home matches against reigning Premier League champions (L2), though they did lose this exact fixture 0-4 last season.
- Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero has scored six goals on MD1 of previous Premier League seasons; more than any player still playing in the Premier League. The only players with more MD1 goals in Premier League history are Wayne Rooney (8), Alan Shearer (8), Frank Lampard (8) and Teddy Sheringham (7).
- West Ham striker Javier Hernandez has faced Manchester City six times in the Premier League without scoring – against no side has he played more without finding the net (also six vs Arsenal). However, all six of these appearances have been as a substitute.
- Manchester City’s David Silva has scored in four of his last five games against West Ham in all competitions, including in all three of his appearances at the London Stadium. He’s scored more goals against the Hammers for Man City than he has any other side (six, including five in the Premier League).
West Ham v Man City: Match odds
Manchester City are heavy favourites at 2/9 on to beat West Ham at the London Stadium - who are outsiders at 12/1 despite being at home. The draw is available at 5/1.
Odds correct at time of writing, courtesy of Bet365.