Manchester City kick off their title defence with a tough trip to West Ham at London Stadium on Super Sunday.
West Ham will be eager to start their campaign with victory as they chase a top-six finish, whilst City will look to start their title defence without suffering an opening defeat for the second consecutive season.
West Ham will be without summer signing, Nayef Aguerd after he suffered an ankle injury in pre-season.
Issa Diop (knock) is a doubt but Angelo Ogbonna and summer signing – Gianluca Scamacca are fitness doubts.
Flynn Downes could be in line for his debut after joining the Hammers last month but Maxwel Cornet is unlikely to feature in the squad, having only signed on Friday evening from Burnley.
Man City have a near-full squad available for selection as Aymeric Laporte is ruled out after needing knee surgery during the summer break.
Summer signings, Erling Haaland and Kalvin Phillips are set for their league debuts for City whilst Stefan Ortega is likely to be on bench as the substitute goalkeeper.
Julian Alvarez meanwhile is making his Premier League debut, having joined Man City in January but spent the second half of last season on loan at Argentina’s River Plate.
- West Ham have claimed just three points out of a possible 39 points from their last 13 league meetings against Man City dating back to January 2016 (D3, L10).
- Man City are unbeaten in their last seven Premier League trips to West Ham (W4, D3).
- West Ham are looking to go unbeaten in four home games against Man City for the first time since a six game run between November 1993 – April 2006 in all competitions.
- This will be West Ham’s first season without midfielder, Mark Noble since the 2003-04 campaign following his retirement at end of last season.
- City have won four of their five opening weekend fixtures where they entered the new season as defending champions (W4, L1), with their only defeat coming at Tottenham last season.
Having brought in fresh reinforcement across the pitch this summer, West Ham really need to start their season with a win for sake of momentum in a hectic month for the Hammers with an UEFA Europa Conference League play-off tie included.
Man City meanwhile might of lost huge players in Raheem Sterling and Oleksandr Zinchenko but they have replaced the pair plus others with quality signings, with Erling Haaland in particular looking one to watch if he can hit the ground running with his pace and technical ability.
This clash also marked City’s last away trip of last season on the penultimate in which they fought back from 2-0 down for a crucial draw which ultimately clinched them the title a week later, so I am expecting a tough battle across the pitch where new signings will need to immediately raise their game.
I am in two minds as to whether this will be an open end-to-end battle or a tight cagey contest but if Haaland quickly settles and shows his quality, I fancy City to have the edge.
Prediction: West Ham 1-2 Manchester City
Result: West Ham 0-2 Manchester City