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10.08.2019 07:30

Five scenarios to bank upon in Manchester City’s trip to West Ham

The defending champions travel to the London Stadium in their first Premier League fixture of the season on Saturday. Here we provide you the five most plausible situations that could arise from it, and prediction on who wins it.

1st goal

Pep Guardiola’s side scored first in 34 of the 38 Premier League matches last season. The Citizens also had a good pre-season and their past record at the London Stadium is sensational, to say the least. Meanwhile, Manuel Pellegrini’s tactical approach involves a lot of pressing and risk-taking, which further increases City’s chances of scoring early.

Correct score

The Premier Champions hammered West Ham 4-0 in the precise fixture last season. In the reverse clash, they won 1-0 and thus, can be backed for both goals and clean sheets on Saturday. 3-0 seems to be the likeliest scoreline based on both clubs’ pre-season form and squad strength.

Clean Sheet

In 38 Premier League matches last season, Ederson and Co. kept 20 clean sheets: just one shy of Liverpool’s tally of 21. They also kept out the Hammers on both occasions last term, while new Spanish midfielder, Rodri has already proven an upgrade on the excellent Fernandinho. West Ham, on the other hand, haven’t got the greatest backline to prevent City’s attackers from scoring. Therefore, Ederson and his defence must be backed to deliver a shutout.

When 1st goal will be scored

The Premier League champions tend to score 13% of their goals in the opening ten minutes. The Hammers too, like to hurt the opposition early on, although will find it extremely difficult to get past Ederson. With substantial game time already in their legs, Guardiola’s side are outright favourites to score early and score first.

1st goal scorer

City phenomenon Sergio Aguero is once again the favourite to open the scoring on Saturday. He has a terrific record against the Hammers, whose defence are most adept at dealing with physical forwards rather than the quick and tricky Argentine.

Prediction: Manchester City to win 3-0. Sergio Aguero to open the scoring within the first 10 minutes. Bernardo Silva and Raheem Sterling to score the others.

Here are the odds for the game

Words: Chandan Pandey

Images: PA