Manchester City vs West Ham United Preview: Both sides kick-off pre-season tour of China with familiar clash
(Photo by Manchester City FC/Manchester City FC via Getty Images)

Manchester City and West Ham United will face each other for the first game of their pre-season tours on Wednesday afternoon. 

The game will be played in the Premier League Asia Trophy, with the winner of the match-up going on to face either Newcastle United or Wolverhampton Wanderers in the final. Here's everything you need to know ahead of the encounter.

Key names missing for the Blues 

At the start of any pre-season, managers are always frustrated by members of their squad coming back at different times, this is mostly due to different players from different nations being involved in different competitions across the globe.

This summer with the Copa America and African Cup of Nations taking place, both clubs have been left with players needing a holiday later than both bosses would've liked, therefore making many key names unavailable for this fixture.

The champions of England will be without Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus and Ederson due to the Copa America, whilst also being without Riyad Mahrez as he prepares for the African Cup of Nations final with Algeria.

Phil Foden will join up with City in China, although isn't expected to feature due to his extended break after playing in the UEFA European Under-21 Championship.

Man City predicted XI: Bravo; Walker, Stones, Laporte, Angelino; Rodri, Gundogan, Zinchenko; Sane, Bernardo Silva, Sterling.

A potential confidence booster for Pellegrini's men?

With the Irons having fewer players involved in international competitions the summer, they consequently have more men available for selection.

Aaron Cresswell missed the Hammers' last pre-season game against SC Rheindorf Altach, and although he has travelled with the squad, is unlikely to feature just yet.

Arthur Masuaku and Fabian Balbuena have been granted further time off having been involved in competitions for their country, but Winston Reid is among the players available after finally recovering from long-term injury.

Having already gotten one pre-season game under their belt before travelling out to China, West Ham could potentially be the fitter of the two sides, possibly handing them a rare edge over the Premier League champions.

Manuel Pellegrini will also be using this fixture as a way to try and boost the confidence of his players against City, as the two sides will meet again in the first game of the Premier League season. 

West Ham predicted XI: ​Fabianski; Fredericks, Diop, Balbuena, Johnson; Noble, Rice, Wilshere; Snodgrass, Felipe Anderson, Hernandez.

History on City's side

Often in pre-season, Premier League sides going on tour will know very little about their opponent, this certainly isn't the case with these two, with City dominating recent meetings.

The Hammers last beat the Blues in 2015, and since this game have conceded 25 goals in just eight games.

Whilst this fixture is certainly one of the lesser important encounters between the two, it is certainly one of the most interesting of pre-season.

Both sides will be eyeing each other up and looking at potential weaknesses that could be exploited when they face each other in the league's opener in less than a month. 

 

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