Defending champions Manchester City will travel to the London Stadium to take on West Ham United in their first Premier League game of the season.
City will attempt to claim their third successive league title this season. They won it two seasons ago in record-breaking fashion. City had 100 points that season, which is a Premier League record. Last season they reached 98 points on their way to another domestic crown. Liverpool ran them close, and the Reds finished just a point beneath them. Aside from the Premier League, City won the other domestic trophies as well.Embed from Getty Images
They beat Chelsea in the EFL Cup final and then beat Watford in the FA Cup final to seal a domestic treble. Their Europan adventure was unrewarded, as Tottenham knocked them out in the quarter-final. Pep Guardiola will aim to win his third successive Premier League, which has not been done since 2009 when Manchester United did it. It is highly likely that Liverpool will be their nearest challengers again.
City have arguably the best squad in Europe right now, but Guardiola has no intention of resting on his laurels. He secured the services of Rodri from Atletico Madrid for a record fee. The midfielder is seen as a long-term replacement for Fernandinho in the middle of the park for Manchester City. Kevin De Bruyne should be fit to start the season as well, and his presence will definitely help the side. Vincent Kompany has departed for Anderlecht, and David Silva will be the captain in his final season at the Etihad.
As for West Ham, they will begin their fourth season at the London Stadium. The Hammers finished 10th last season which was Manuel Pellegrini’s first campaign in charge. There were some rough patches in store for West Ham, but their final position was a respectable one. Pellegrini will hope to build upon that this season.Embed from Getty Images
He will be without forward Marko Arnautovic as he is expected to leave for Chinese side Shanghai SIPG. They are in the market for his replacement, as Javier Hernandez’s future is in doubt as well. Several MLS teams are interested in him, but he is still a Hammer for now. Pablo Fornals has been their only major signing thus far. West Ham signed him from Villarreal for €27 million.
The head to head record between the two sides is on the side of Manchester City. The Cityzens have won the last seven meetings between the two sides in all competitions. West Ham’s last win came back in 2015. City have scored four or more goals in four of their last six matches.
West Ham United vs Manchester City Prediction
Manchester City will be the favorites to get the opening win at the London Stadium. The total goals should be greater than 2.5 in the game and City will score most of them. West Ham have a tough first fixture, and the home fans should go home empty-handed on the opening weekend.