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Manchester City vs West Ham – Match Preview

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says new signing Claudio Bravo will not make his debut on Sunday, so Willy Caballero is likely to start in goal.

Striker Kelechi Iheanacho is available despite an injury scare in their midweek Champions League play-off tie.

West Ham’s Mark Noble should be fit despite missing Thursday’s defeat by Astra but Havard Nordtveit is likely to miss out with a foot injury.

Fellow midfielders Dimitri Payet and Manuel Lanzini will be assessed.

The two sides had mixed fortunes in terms of their European adventures in midweek. They both played Romanian sides as Manchester City confirmed their spot in the Champions League group stages with a 1-0 win over Steaua Bucharest while West Ham were once again knocked out by Astra Girugiu in the Europa League play-off round.

It was a West Ham side short of any real attacking spark on Thursday as once again the likes of Payet and Lanzini who were so impressive last season were once again absent. The sooner these two can return the closer The Hammers can look at returning to the level of performance that earned them a 7th place finish last season.

Last week saw them christen their new London Stadium with Premier League and they got off to the ideal start with a 1-0 win over Bournemouth, that said it was a game devoid of any real quality and one that certainly didn’t live up to the pre-match hype.

It took the sending off of Harry Arter to give West Ham they break they needed and they manage to make the most of their numerical advantage with Michail Antonio giving the East London side all three points after he heading home past Artur Boruc from close range.

West Ham will have to raise their game if they are going to stop the blue juggernaut which is Manchester City at The Etihad, but let’s not forget that last season they won 2-1 here thanks to goals from Victor Moses and Diafra Sahko. It won’t be those two on the scoresheet today so Slaven Bilic is going to have to look for another hero this afternoon.

As for City it’s maximum points and a 100% record for Pep Guardiola in all compettions and he will be looking to extend that record Today. The big news in the week was the fact that City have been paired up with Barcelona in the Champions League group stages as Guardiola will now have to prepare for a return to the Nou Camp.

But that comes in a couple of weeks and Guardiola will be making sure the visit of West Ham gets his full attention. He had the luxurious position of resting key players in midweek for their Champions League 2nd leg tie against Steaua Bucharest that was thanks to their ruthless 5-0 win in the opening encounter.

They were also pretty ruthless last week as Guardiola proved that he can do it in Stoke as he masterminded a comprehensive 4-1 win over Mark Hughes men. Sergio Aguero and Nolito were both on hand with braces while Raheem Sterling looks like he is returning to the kind of form that earned him a £49m move to Manchester just over a year ago.

City look pretty ominous as of late and will go into this game as heavy favourites. West Ham look a patched up team as of late and I think they could struggle today, it would be somewhat of a coupon buster if they were to repeat last season’s feat of a win on this ground but I can’t see it happening for a second season in a row. City to go 9 from 9 and stay joint top with Manchester United and Chelsea.

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