Manchester City comes into this fixture after being crowned Champions in the 21/22 Premier League season, edging rivals Liverpool by just a point. It was a short pre-season for the Citizens as the majority of their squad was away on international duty. They played just two friendly games beating both Club America and Bayern Munich 2-1 and 1-0 respectively. However, it didn't go quite as well in the Community Shield, losing 3-1 at Wembley against Liverpool. Despite City equalising through Julian Alvarez in the 70th minute, two goals in the last ten minutes from Mohamed Salah and Darwin Nunez meant the shield went to Merseyside.
West Ham United finished last season in a respectable 7th place but it was their run to the semi-finals of the UEFA Europa League which captured the hearts of the fans. However, this pre-season hasn't been a great one for the Hammers, winning just two of seven matches away at Swiss side Servette and Ipswich Town. Their final pre-season fixture was a 0-0 draw with Ligue 1 side Lens, the team lacked creativity but looked solid defensively.
In the reverse fixture at the end of last season, Manchester City failed to win in a frantic finish at the death as it finished 2-2. A first-half brace from Jarrod Bowen capped off a brilliant start for the Hammers until a goal from Jack Grealish early in the second half and an own-goal from Vladimir Coufal levelled the fixture. Craig Dawson brought down Gabriel Jesus in the box in the closing minutes of the game. After a lengthy VAR check the penalty was given, only for Riyad Mahrez’s strike to be saved by Lukasz Fabianski.
West Ham United are without new signing Nayef Aguerd due to an ankle injury sustained in the Hammers' pre-season friendly vs Rangers at Ibrox last month. New £30 million pound striker Gianluca Scamacca is also set to miss the opening fixture due to a lack of match fitness. David Moyes said: “Gianluca has only just joined us and he’s a little bit behind so I’m not expecting him to be available this weekend.” French defender Issa Diop is also expected to miss the game as the club is looking at selling the defender, with Premier League newcomers Fulham interested. Finally, brand new signing Maxwell Cornet will not be involved as he wasn’t registered in time.
The hero of the same fixture last season Fabianski is also expected to start in goal, despite the permanent signing of Alphonse Areola. The back five system with Pablo Fornals at left-wing-back is also likely to be employed as Moyes looks to reinvent his West Ham side. Newly named captain Declan Rice is set to lead his team out for the first time as permanent captain of the East Londoners.
Predicted West Ham Line-Up: Fabianski, Coufal, Dawson, Zouma, Cresswell, Fornals, Rice, Soucek, Benrahma, Antonio, Bowen.
As for Manchester City, they are without Aymeric Laporte who missed pre-season due to knee surgery recovery. John Stones is also unlikely to feature due to a lack of pre-season fitness. Stones, Ilkay Gundogan and Phil Foden were unable to attend the club's pre-season tour of America due to US entry requirements. However, both Foden and Gundogan were involved in the Community Shield meaning they are a lot more likely to feature this weekend than the English international defender. This means it's very likely Ruben Dias will be partnered with Nathan Ake at the back on Sunday.
Erling Haaland is looking for his first competitive goal in sky blue with fellow new signing Julian Alvarez available on the bench as a plan B. Joao Cancelo, City's new number seven will also aim to continue his fine form from last season on the left side of the defence, with Kyle Walker continuing on the right side.
Predicted Manchester City Line-Up: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Ake, Cancelo, Rodri, De Bruyne, B.Silva, Foden, Mahrez, Haaland.