West Ham starts their Premier League campaign with perhaps the hardest assignment. They face the juggernaut that is Manchester City. Pep Guardiola’s men will be itching to get a W on the ledger after falling to Liverpool in the Community Shield last weekend.
West Ham played seven pre-season friendlies during the summer. They won three and drew four. An undefeated pre-season is nothing to be dismissed, but even the most ardent Hammers fan will have to admit that The Irons did not wow anyone with their performances.
West Ham vs Manchester City FYIs
When is it? Sunday, August 7, 4:30 PM UK Time.
Where is it? Olympic Stadium, London
What is the West Ham Starting XI Prediction? go here
Who’s in form? West Ham (DDLDD) Man City (–WWL)
What are the odds? West Ham (+750) Man City (-270) Draw (+425)
The East London club purchased Nayef Aguerd on the first day of July. A center-back, they purchased him to prevent a repeat of last season where David Moyes was left with no center backs. The Morrocan had performed well in Ligue 1 for Dijon FC and Stade Rennais, which earned him a €35 million to The Hammers. It seemed like a sensible piece of business.
Then he went down with an ankle injury. There is no break to the ankle, but The Hammers do not expect him to return until October. Not the start West ham or Aguerd had planned.
“We’ve already had Nayef X-rayed, and there’s no break in his ankle, which is good news. It might be some ligaments, or he’s twisted his ankle. It blew up immediately,” was the last update from the club regarding the Moroccan defender.
Elsewhere, it is mostly a clean bill of health. The only concern is a knock to yet another center back, Issa Diop. I expected the towering Frenchman to be considered for selection for the clash with Manchester City.
Stueys Two Cents
There is a lot to play for this season for the Hammers. They were spectacular last season. If they had more center back stocks and an alternative to Michail Antonio up front, they would likely be playing in the Champions League this year. They have rectified both issues.
With the likes of Declan Rice and Jarrod Bowen in their ranks, the Hammers have some of the best English players in the world in the ranks. If they don’t start making serious inroads regarding playing European football regularly, it won’t be the case for much longer.
There’s no better way to announce your intentions to the rest of the league than knocking off last season’s champions. The opportunity is there for David Moyes’ side.
Stuart Kavanagh is a journalist currently residing in Broken Hill, Australia. He writes for the Barrier Truth newspaper, along with being the owner of the sports and entertainment website thepyrrhic.com, He also co-hosts the ‘After Extra Time’ podcast and contributes at edgeofthecrowd.com when time permits.
Football mad, he is always down for debate and discussion at @stueyissickofit on Twitter.Follow paulmbanks