West Ham United vs Manchester City Preview: Pellegrini looking to cause a shock against former club 
(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

West Ham United vs Manchester City Preview: Pellegrini looking to cause a shock against former club 

Manchester City will travel to the London Stadium to face West Ham on Saturday afternoon. Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the clash.

Josh Slinger

With all international football out of the window until March, Pep Guardiola and his Manchester City side can now fully focus on the job in hand in the Premier League - regaining their title. 

The return to league football sees them face no easy task, as former manager Manuel Pellegrini will look to cause a shock at the London Stadium. 

Key players returning for the Hammers 

West Ham United will undoubtedly be the underdogs for the matchup, although have been boosted by the returns of Jack Wilshere and Andy Carroll to full fitness. 

Captain Mark Noble will also return following his ban, whilst Robert Snodgrass will miss the game through suspension. 

West Ham predicted XI: Fabianski; Zabaleta, Diop, Balbuena, Cresswell; Obiang, Rice, Noble; Diangana, Arnautovic, Anderson.

The Irons have lost all encounters with City since their move to the London Stadium, an unwanted record that Pellegrini will be more hopeful of ending given the strength of players available at the moment. 

Injury concerns for the visitors

Whilst the home side have been boosted with players returning from injury over the international break, City have been struck with a few blows.

Bernardo Silva and Benjamin Mendy, two key names in the Blues’ strong start to the season, are ruled out for this one through injury. Nicolas Otamendi has returned to training, however, is unlikely to be available for Guardiola’s sides trip to the capital. 

It goes without saying that despite these injury concerns, City are still the superior of the two sides on paper, and will be confident of making it eight wins on the bounce. 

Man City predicted XI: Ederson; Walker, Stones, Laporte, Delph; Fernandinho, David Silva, de Bruyne; Sterling, Sane, Aguero. 

Both managers speak of reigns at City

In their press conferences ahead of this matchup, both bosses spoke of their time at City. Firstly, Pellegrini reflected on his three-year reign. “I was asked if I was disappointed by the manner of my departure from Manchester City but no, I was not disappointed, as I knew before what would happen."

The Chilean then went into further detail about his time at the Etihad, “I signed three years in Manchester City and I completed my three-year contract. In those three years I think the club improved a lot.”

Current City boss, Guardiola, then spoke of his time at the club thus far, stating that he could stay in Manchester even longer than his current contract suggests. “If it's going well I'll stay more years here,” stated the Spaniard, “When I was a little boy I had dreams, some were accomplished, some not.”

Whilst both managers will obviously receive a great reception from the travelling away support from Manchester, you can expect the West Ham faithful to make the atmosphere as toxic as possible for the league leaders, having already beaten their city rivals, Manchester United, at the London Stadium this season.