Premier League defending champions Manchester City will resume their title defence this Saturday as they travel to London to face West Ham.
Both teams come into this tie in decent form, with the hosts still unbeaten after four games. They have been one of the Premier League surprise packages this campaign, with three wins and one draw, placing them inside the top four.
Meanwhile, City travel to London as the only team with a 100% winning record, having beaten Burnley, Newcastle, Sheffield United and Fulham.
They won their last two games without their mercurial coach, Pep Guardiola, who was absent due to surgery. But the Spanish coach is back in action and will be eager to continue his remarkable record against West Ham.
- West Ham are unbeaten in their last five games in all competitions (W4, D1).
- The Hammers’ ten points on the board at this stage represent their joint-highest PL points tally, having earned the same after four rounds in 1999/2000.
- They have lost nine of their last ten PL games against reigning champions (D1), conceding at least two goals in nine of those contests.
- David Moyes’ men are without a clean sheet in seven straight league matches.
- Manchester City are unbeaten in their last five games (W4, D1).
- They are unbeaten at West Ham in eight league visits (W5, D3).
- The Cityzens boast a record of just one loss from their last 11 games against teams starting the round inside the PL’s top four after five rounds or more (W8, D2).
- Only Sir Alex Ferguson has faced an opponent more as a PL manager without losing (16 vs Charlton) than City’s Guardiola against West Ham (14).
- In 44 Premier League games between both sides, Man City have 27 wins, while West Ham have nine wins (D8).
After beginning the season with a poor 2-2 draw with Bournemouth, West Ham made a name for themselves in the next three games, beating Chelsea, despite playing much of the game with ten men, before back-to-back wins over Brighton and Luton town before the international break.
That ten-point haul at this stage represents their joint-highest PL points tally, having earned the same after four rounds in 1999/2000. So, they come into this game against the champions in a good mood and with a high chance of getting a result, given that they have already beaten one of last season’s top six teams this campaign.
However, their form against City is worrying, with the Hammers winless against the PL champions in all competitions since a 2-1 win at the Etihad in 2015 (D3, L15). But with three consecutive PL wins at home, David Moyes’ side will feel that this game is their best chance at winning against Pep Guardiola’s side.
Man City remain the only side with a perfect record in England this season, leaving them top of the table and leading the charge for the title.
The visitors looked at their very best before the international break, smashing five past Fulham en route to their 5-1 home success. While they might have one eye on the return of the Champions League this week, they will likely be putting out a strong side capable of extending a dominant H2H record, with City unbeaten at West Ham in eight league visits (W5, D3).
The Cityzens’ record in games against the division’s in-form is impressive as they boast a record of just one loss from their last eleven games against teams starting the round inside the PL’s top four after five rounds or more (W8, D2).
David Moyes has a full squad to select from, and so is expected to name the same team that beat Chelsea at home last month.
Meanwhile, Pep Guardiola has a few injured players, with Jack Grealish, Mateo Kovacic and John Stones joining Kevin de Bruyne on the treatment table.
With Grealish unlikely to feature or start the game, Guardiola could hand a first start to summer signing Jeremy Doku in this game.
— Manchester City (@ManCity) September 15, 2023
Predicted West Ham Lineup: Alphonse Areola, Vladimir Coufal, Kurt Zouma, Nayef Aguerd, Emerson, Edson Alvarez, James Ward-Prowse, Jarrod Bowen, Lucas Paqueta, Said Benrahma, Michail Antonio.
Predicted Manchester City Lineup: Ederson Moraes, Kyle Walker, Ruben Dias, Manuel Akanji, Nathan Ake, Rodri, Phil Foden, Julian Alvarez, Bernardo Silva, Jeremy Doku, Erling Haaland.