The reigning champions will look to get the defence of their title off to a winning start with a trip to the Hammers this weekend
Having secured an unprecedented domestic treble in 2018-19, Manchester City will be looking to make it a hat-trick of Premier League crowns under Pep Guardiola when they kick off their title defence against West Ham this weekend.
The Citizens savoured their second top-flight success in as many years under the Spaniard last season, beating out Liverpool in a pulsating title race while also claiming both the FA Cup and Carabao Cup to add to their increasingly impressive trophy haul.
But the club will know that they face sterner threats across the board this time around despite having strengthened their own hand over the off-season, with many of their rivals looking to topple their ambitions.
Their hosts are not expected to be among the major challengers to their title credentials, but former City boss Manuel Pellegrini arguably knows more than many others on how to unlock City, and will hope to spring an opening weekend surprise of his own at London Stadium.
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial).
New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser.
In the UK, the match will be shown on BT Sport 1 and BT Sport Ultimate, and available to stream on BT Sport Live.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|BT Sport 1 / BT Sport Ultimate||BT Sport Live|
Squads & Team News
|Position||West Ham squad|
|Goalkeepers||Fabianski, Roberto, Martin|
|Defenders||Reid, Cresswell, Balbuena, Zabaleta, Cardos, Ogbonna, Diop, Fredericks, Masuaku, Johnson|
|Midfielders||Lanzini, Snodgrass, Sanchez, Noble, Fornals, Wilshire, Antonio, Rice|
|Forwards||Yarmolenko, Anderson, Hernandez, Haller, Ajeti, Xande Silva|
Manuel Pellegrini’s side have spent big this transfer window, bringing in Pablo Fornals and Sebastien Haller among others, and both big-money arrivals will be expected to make their debuts proper for the club at London Stadium.
Elsewhere, he will also have goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski back from injury, though he will have to make do without captain Mark Noble.
Potential West Ham starting XI: Fabianski; Fredericks, Diop, Balbuena, Cresswell; Rice; Fornals, Wilshire, Lanzini, Anderson; Haller.
|Position||Manchester City squad|
|Goalkeepers||Ederson, Bravo, Grimshaw, Carson|
|Defenders||Laporte, Stones, Otamendi, Walker, Angelino, Mendy, Cancelo|
|Midfielders||De Bruyne, Fernandinho, D. Silva, B. Silva, Rodri, Foden, Zinchenko|
|Forwards||Aguero, Jesus, Sterling, Mahrez|
Pep Guardiola has been handed an early hammer-blow already after Leroy Sane ruptured his ACL in the Community Shield, though his injury does also put to an end Bayern Munich’s pursuit of the striker.
New signing Joao Cancelo is unlikely to start ahead of first-choice right-back Kyle Walker but might be afforded the chance to come off the bench.
Potential Manchester City starting XI: Bravo; Walker, Otamendi, Stones, Zinchenko; Rodri, D. Silva, De Bruyne; B. Silva, Sterling, Aguero.
Betting & Match Odds
City are odds-on favourites to take the win at 1/4 favourites with bet365. West Ham are priced at a more distant 11/1 while a draw is available at 6/1.
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With the success of their historic domestic treble last season – or quadruple, depending on definition – Manchester City will be out to defend their crowns this season when they get their new Premier League campaign underway against West Ham at London Stadium.
Pep Guardiola’s side swept the board at home last season, winning the top-flight title, FA Cup, Carabao Cup and Community Shield, with only the Champions League eluding them in the end, and the Citizens are expected to be hungry for more.
Guardiola has in fact already tasted silverware success again this season, picking up the Community Shield once more, against Liverpool, who are widely tipped to be their key opponents in the hunt for glory again.
But the Spaniard is more than aware that the Reds won’t be their only threat this season, talking up the potential of their other ‘Big Six’ rivals after the win at Wembley on Sunday.
“I think United with Maguire and the other players they bought, Arsenal as well, Chelsea and Tottenham, they won all of their pre-season so I think there will be many, many contenders this time,” he stated.
“But I think Liverpool… we were so happy when we realised which team we were going to face for the rest of the season, they are the champions of Europe, that’s why I gave a lot of credit to our victory today.
“They are a top-class team. The difference can be one point ahead, one penalty ahead… that is the difference – it’s minor.”
One new weapon that Guardiola boasts in his arsenal is that of right-back Joao Cancelo, who has arrived at the Etihad Stadium as part of a swap deal that has seen Danilo head the other way to Juventus, with the Serie A title winner admitting that the chance to work with his new manager playing a driving role in his decision to head to England.
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“Obviously, Pep Guardiola was a big reason for me to join Manchester City. I’ve always admired him and the way his teams play since he started at Barcelona,” he added.
“It’s not by chance that Manchester City have won the last two Premier Leagues and all the domestic trophies in England last season.
“I love his style of play, his character – he’s very detail-orientated. That’s why I’m here today.”