Welcome one welcome all! The Premier League flight is taking off. 5th episode is about to air. The points table has started taking shape. Teams are all set as the transfer window is closed. Matchday 5 blooms to put an end to the international break. The happiness of international break getting over will always peak. Peak result is obtained when two pole-apart entities meet. The two teams which we will be discussing are no further dissimilar to the concept discussed above. West Ham United, the band led by the pragmatic padre, David Moyes will host Manchester City which is handled by the Total Football preacher, Pep Guardiola.
West Ham are currently enjoying the 4th spot with 3 games won consecutively after drawing the season opener. In the span of these 4 matches, they have defeated the likes of Chelsea and Brighton. David has certainly brought the team’s form from last season into this one. The European title has given them a newfound confidence. They will also be playing in the Europa League this season. It seems this season, the Hammers have a lot on their sleeves. Their recent triumph, yes that is what I will call it, against Brighton shocked everybody out there. The display of counter-attacking football was top-notch.
Man City on the other hand are topping the group. Pep has stacked the squad with dribblers. The new signing, Matheus Nunes will surely add depth this monstrous team. Sure, they lack in the depth upfront but Pep has come up with players/dribblers who can make space and provide runs on the wings. He either has perfect weapons or he makes the weapon from scratch.
West Ham United’s PL form: W W W D
Man City’s PL form: W W W W
WHEN & WHERE?
Where: London Stadium, London.
When: Saturday, 16th September 2023.
Time: 7:30 PM IST / 2:00 PM GMT.
Referee: Andy Madley.
Assistants: Harry Lennard, Nick Hopton.
Fourth official: Thomas Bramall.
VAR: Darren Bond.
Assistant VAR: Scott Ledger.
For West Ham, Konstantinos, the new signing is fit for the debut. The Greek defender signed for the Hammers and after recovering from a back-injury, he is available for Moyes. Rest assured; West Ham is all set with everybody at their disposal.
Whereas, Man City has De Bruyne’s permanent absentee on one hand. The others filled with Kovacic not attending due to a minor muscle injury. Jack Grealish and John Stones will be unavailable as well.
David Moyes has got the hold of his team. They have the right quality players and they are not just any random team from the Premier League. The gaffer knows how to make the players work. The recent best-sung win against Brighton showed us what this team can unleash unto its opponents. A perfect side to play counter-attacking football. Less of the ball more of the points. “You take the possession; I take the 3 points” vibe in the arena. The Rice replacement, Alvarez is of a great quality. His Ajax mate, Kudus has also signed for the Hammers in the transfer window. Everybody recognized his class during the World Cup. The individual talent in the team is too good that a single moment can turn the game into their hands. Moyes starts in a 4-2-3-1 shape. A basic formation with a double pivot and a CAM with the intention to catch the opponent off-guard by smoothly transitioning into attack from sitting deep.
Manchester City has a totally different approach. More like Brighton, the City players too will wait till you press them. The space created by a player after pressing onto someone is exploited. This is the way team like these, attack. The possession is maintained all the time so that less time is spent defending. Keeping the ball is equivalent to defending it. This game style can be countered by sitting deep and attacking during that one key moment when the attention of the on-ball player lapses. A high concentration is well-demanded in this style of play. After successfully defeating this style tactically, against Brighton, can Moyes repeat it against the Mighty Man City? Or will they register their first loss of the season?
The Monster man might cook in this fixture. All he must do is break those West Ham defence lines by timing his run properly. Alternatively, he can help in attracting the players more into the deep, which leaves space between the lines. This space can later be targeted by players like Rodri and can have a shot on goal. Haaland is currently the top scorer with 6 goals from 4 matches and a single assist as well.
James Ward Prowse
The English midfielder is making his name in the league. A talented set-piece taker. His set-piece numbers lie in the very places where the GOATs of the game reside. He can trouble City by converting free kicks, corner kicks into serious threats. West Ham even has aerial threats like Antonio who can be handy into the box. Ward Prowse is really a weapon.
West Ham Utd’s predicted lineup vs Man City: Areola; Coufal, Zouma, Aguerd, Emerson; Alvarez; Soucek, Ward-Prowse, Bowen, Paqueta; Antonio.
Manchester City’s predicted lineup vs West Ham Utd: Ederson; Walker, Akanji, Dias, Ake; Rodri, Nunes; Silva, Alvarez, Foden; Haaland.