Manchester City vs West Ham United : Manchester City will go to West Ham on Saturday as they attempt to continue their remarkable start to the season by securing an 11th win in their 13th Premier League fixture.
Pep Guardiola’s side were in formidable form prior to the international break, scoring six in successive matches against Southampton and Shakhtar Donetsk before blowing away local rivals Manchester United 3-1 in the derby.
Their trip to the London Stadium will be their first away match in the best part of a month, with former City boss Manuel Pellegrini simply battling to keep the Hammers up.
West Ham have a raft of selection problems heading into the weekend, with Pellegrini faced with a number of long-term injury issues. Among the casualties are centre-back Winston Reid, midfielders Manuel Lanzini and Carlos Sanchez, and striker Andriy Yarmolenko.
Jack Wilshere and Andy Carroll are back training again, but the prospects of either featuring are slim.
Robert Snodgress is banned but Mark Noble is back.
Kevin De Bruyne continues to be the headline absentee for Pep Guardiola’s side, yet the Spaniard will also have to do without left-back Benjamin Mendy for up to 12 weeks due to a knee injury. Claudio Bravo is also missing.
Bernardo Silva and Nicolas Otamendi are struggling after sustaining apparently minor problems on international duty. The Portuguese will not play this week.
Possible Man City starting XI: Ederson; Walker, Stones, Laporte, Danilo; Gundogan, Fernandinho; Mahrez, David Silva, Sane; Aguero
Betting & Match Odds
Hosts West Ham are 12/1 to win the game with bet365. Man City can be backed at a price of 1/4, while a draw is 11/2.
Click here to see more offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more.
There was once a time, not so long ago, when Manuel Pellegrini led Manchester City to the Premier League title. On Saturday, at the London Stadium, he finds himself in the West Ham dugout with the formidable task of upsetting his former club facing him.
Pep Guardiola, who replaced him at the Etihad Stadium, has lifted the Citizens to hitherto untouched levels, winning praise for both the style and substance of their play, and also elevating the club to a position from which they can assault the Champions League.
Europe and a midweek trip to Lyon will have to wait for the moment, with the former Barcelona boss eager to praise his predecessor with the Citizens.
“His career speaks for itself. At Villarreal, he put this team on another level. The way they play and created their own style is impressive,” he said. “Afterwards he went to Real Madrid, where they ended with 96 points.
“He won the league here and helped the club to become where we are right now.”
So strong has Guardiola made this current iteration of the club, though, that already there is talk they could negotiate the whole season undefeated – a suggestion he has been quick to pour scorn on.
“Right now, I am only focused on winning the next game. If we focus on winning back to back titles, we forget what we need to do,” he said. “It’s like last season, I heard it many times, ‘we are invincible, we are unbeatable.’ We were beaten.”
Pellegrini, who has cast aside for Guardiola in 2016, will be eager for his side to be the ones to upset these would-be invincibles in his first meeting with City since leaving two years ago.
Manchester United have already visited the Hammers and left empty handed, so Guardiola’s side have been warned, not that the relentless Catalan needed it.