“Well I guess it’s a fixture you want to get out of the way early on.” That’s probably what West Ham United players thought when hearing they were going to be playing Manchester City in their opening fixture. The Hammers have been big spenders this summer but then again they usually are. Will this be the season when their side gels and they challenge the big boys?
West Ham have had their usual kind of summer. They spend lots of cash in the transfer window and talk about a high finish in the Premier League. Usually the real pattern is a struggle at the start of the season. Allthose changes see the team struggle to settle down for a while. Then they start to play well but encounter more bad patches along the way. The Hammers finished tenth last season (thanks to winning their last three games) and another top ten finish is 4/5 (1.8) at SkyBet.
Starting the season with a game against the league champions isn’t ideal. When you read their head–to-head results, it’s an even worse proposition. That’s for later on, before that, let’s take a look at what the Hammers have been up to during the summer.
They haven’t been afraid to splash the cash but needed to. Their top scorer for the past two seasons, Marko Arnautovic has departed for China. His replacement is Sebastian Haller from Eintracht Frankfurt who has cost them £45m. Pasco Fornals has arrived from Villarreal along with Roberto with perhaps one or two more before the window shuts. They might struggle early on unless all the new players instantly click but this is one tough opener. You can get odds of 12/1 (13.0) on them beating City on Saturday.
Manchester City already have one trophy in the bag after winning the Community Shield last Sunday. They again look the team to beat and a third Premier League title in a row can’t be ruled out at all. Rodri looks an awesome signing for them and Joao Cancelo again looks the kind of signing that could make City even stronger this season. Even the possible departure of Leroy Sane wouldn’t hurt them that much.
Their statistics from the past couple of seasons are truly frightening. Points and goals galore and players all over the pitch who can get on the scoresheet. It looks like being another long afternoon for West Ham. The odds on City winning this match are 1/4 (1.25) at Unibet.
Manchester City have an incredible record against West Ham United. They have won their last eight meetings with 27 goals scored and just four conceded. Don’t for a moment think all those goals have been scored at the Etihad. West Ham have conceded 17 goals in their last four home games against City. SkyBet will give you 10/11 (1.91) that City score at least three goals in this match.
Fernandinho could be back for this game after recovering from injury. Leroy Sane is doubtful (and could yet leave the club by the weekend) and Juan Laporte is unlikely to play. Sergio Aguero is expected to start the game. He’s 5/6 (1.83) at Ladbrokes to score in this game. West Ham could be without Mark Noble and Lukasz Fabianski also doubtful.
Over 2.5 Goals Likely
Ten of the last 12 games played between these two clubs have all had over 2.5 goals scored in them. There are odds of 4/9 (1.44) at Bet365 on over 2.5 goals being scored in this match.
Strong Home Form
West Ham United have had their share of problems getting used to the London Stadium. However, they seem to have cured those ills judging by how they finished last season. They have scored at least twice in five of their last six home league matches.
Manchester City haven’t gone mad in the transfer window. They didn’t really need to and again look likely champions. West Ham are again optimistic of a good season and will want to finish higher than tenth. They look likely to start the season with a defeat. City to win and over 2.5 goals in the game has odds of 4/6 (1.66) at Betway.