While there’s no point pretending that the Hammers are anything other than sizeable underdogs in this contest, they did have a respectable last season. They came in 10th overall and proved they are capable of hanging with the big dogs of the Premier League when they are firing on all cylinders. They’ve also had some decent friendly games in the warm up to this tournament, besting Hertha Berlin and Fulham in the process.
However, few, if any, can match up to Manchester City in terms of success or ability. Not only did they win the Premier League – outpacing a fierce challenge by Liverpool – but also walked away with the Community Shield and dismantled Watford to win the FA Cup. It’s not that West Ham are weak, but City’s impressive strength that makes them such strong favourites.
West Ham United vs Manchester City Prediction: West Ham 1-3 Man City
A West Ham win is possible – City have been proven vulnerable from time to time. However, the only possible conclusion we can come to regarding the most likely outcome is a win by the defending champions. But by what margin? Manchester City do hit hard on the offence but aren’t perfect defensively. They have conceded at least one goal in their last three matches, and West Ham at least managed to score one goal the last time they met. With that in mind, our scoreline prediction is going to be 3-1 in favour of Manchester City.
Our recommended tip: Both teams score
Taking into account how we think this game is going to turn out, predicting both teams to score is the only logical conclusion for our recommended tip. Considering that many bookmakers appear to disagree with us – even by a small margin – means you can get decent odds on this bet from a variety of sources. For instance, you can get 20/23 odds from BetVictor. You can also bet against both teams scoring if you disagree, which will net you odds of 37/40 from the same bookmaker. Either way, we it’s a solid bet in terms of odds quality.
One of the reasons that Manchester City are such overwhelming favourites in the eyes of bookmakers and many fans is their head-to-head dominance in this fixture. They hold two victories over West Ham from this year alone, with their 4-1 victory coming mere weeks ago. Their battle from February was a much closer contest, ending 1-0. Still though, a win is a win. Their winning streak over the Hammers extends to eight contests straight, with their last loss being a 2015 Premier League battle which ended 2-1 in West Ham’s favour. There can be little doubt as to who has the advantage in terms of recent history.
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Players to watch: Sébastien Haller & Raheem Sterling
If the Hammers are going to really defy expectations – and what better way to start than by beating the defending champions in your first Premier League match – they are going to need a new direction to do so. Sébastien Haller is a huge part of that equation. This new signing was astonishingly impressive in the last Bundesliga season, scoring 15 goals overall. They will no doubt be hoping he can bring that same magic to the Premier League.
The City squad is so strong that you could easily make a case for choosing the majority of the team as the player to watch. However, we’ve gone with Raheem Sterling for his astonishing run of performances heading into this contest. This includes dual goals over West Ham mere weeks ago. With the exception of their loss to Wolves, Sterling has scored in every game since the end of last season.