Manchester City Vs West Ham Premier League Football Match 2023
Two unbeaten Premier League teams currently sitting inside the top four lock horns at the London Stadium on Saturday afternoon as West Ham United play host to reigning champions Manchester City. While the Hammers are seeking to win a fourth successive league match for the first time in nearly two years, the Citizens are looking to preserve their 100% start in the top flight and maintain their position at the top of the table.
Still riding on a wave of elation following their Europa Conference League triumph in June, West Ham have made an impressive start to the new Premier League season, picking up 10 points from a possible 12 available in their first four matches. An opening-weekend draw with Bournemouth has been followed by wins over Chelsea, Brighton & Hove Albion and Luton Town, beating the latter 2-1 away from home before the international break courtesy of goals from Jarrod Bowen and new captain Kurt Zouma.
Not since the 1999-2000 campaign under Harry Redknapp have the Hammers made a better start to a Premier League season, and current boss David Moyes has been recognised for his efforts by being nominated for August’s Manager of the Month award along with this weekend’s opposite number Pep Guardiola. Preserving their unbeaten record is the aim for West Ham, but that will certainly be put to the test versus a Man City side whom they have suffered 12 defeats against in their last 15 meetings, with the other three matches all ending as draws – only against Manchester United have the Hammers endured a longer winless run against an opponent in the division’s history.
Keeping the Citizens quiet in front of goal could also prove challenging for Moyes’s men, as they have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last seven competitive games in all competitions, while they have conceded at least two goals in seven of their last eight league encounters with Guardiola’s side. After edging past both Newcastle United and Sheffield United with wins by one-goal margins, Man City breezed to a 5-1 victory at home against Fulham before the international break, with goal machine Erling Haaland starring once again by netting his first hat-trick of the campaign.
The contest was finely poised before Haaland had made the net ripple three times in the second half, with Julian Alvarez’s opener cancelled out by Tim Ream before Nathan Ake restored City’s lead with a controversial strike on the stroke of half time – one that PGMOL chief Howard Webb has since admitted should not have stood. Nevertheless, Guardiola will have been delighted to have seen his side maintain their 100% start to the new season and the Catalan boss will be chomping at the bit to return to the dugout this weekend after watching the last two matches, led by assistant coach Juanma Lillo, in Barcelona following a successful back operation.
Like West Ham, fixtures are coming thick and fast for Man City as they endeavour to manage domestic duties with the return of European football, with five matches to prepare for in 14 days before entering the month of October. Before walking out for their first Champions League group game against Red Star Belgrade next Tuesday since winning the competition in June, the Citizens will seek to make it five wins from five in the Premier League when they take on a West Ham outfit whom they have not lost against in each of their last eight away meetings, including a 2-0 success on the opening day of last season.
West Ham’s Vladimir Coufal is doubtful after sustaining a “small” injury on international duty, so either Ben Johnson or Thilo Kehrer could be handed a start at right-back, while summer signing Konstantinos Mavropanos, who had been nursing a back issue, could be in a position to make his debut at centre-back, although both Zouma and Nayef Aguerd are expected to retain their places on Saturday. James Ward-Prowse has been spotted training despite rumours of picking up an injury, and the dead-ball specialist should continue in centre-midfield alongside either Edson Alvarez or Tomas Soucek, the latter of whom missed the win over Luton due to concussion but is now available for selection.
Lucas Paqueta, who was strongly linked with a summer move to Man City, is set to continue in the No.10 role in between wingers Bowen and Said Benrahma, meaning that Mohammed Kudus may begin again as a substitute, while Michail Antonio will likely start up front ahead of Danny Ings. As for Man City, John Stones (hip), Jack Grealish (thigh) and Mateo Kovacic (back) are all injury doubts, and Kevin De Bruyne (hamstring) remains a long-term absentee, but both Ake and Haaland – who scored twice at the London Stadium on his Premier League debut last season – are fit to feature after shaking off knocks picked up on international duty.
The potential absence of Kovacic could see Matheus Nunes handed his full debut in centre-midfield alongside Rodri, although Kalvin Phillips – who started for England on Tuesday – will also be hoping to force his way into Guardiola’s first XI. After beginning as a substitute in City’s win over Fulham, Bernardo Silva could be recalled at the expense of either Jeremy Doku or Phil Foden, while Josko Gvardiol will likely battle with Ake for a place on the left side of a back four.