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West Ham v City: Anderson and Arnautovic threat

HAMMERS TEST: City visit the London Stadium on Saturday

HAMMERS TEST: City visit the London Stadium on Saturday

Manchester City take on West Ham United this weekend as we look to maintain our position at the top of the Premier League table.

Ahead of the game, we’ve outlined some of the key battles that will determine the result at the London Stadium.

1Felipe Anderson vs Fernandinho

Felipe Anderson has made a superb start to life at West Ham.

The attacking-midfielder, signed from Lazio in the summer, possesses outstanding technical quality. He sees the game with clarity, can beat players with ease and always seems to find a pass when needed. A real team player, he has already demonstrated his match-winning qualities on numerous occasions this term.

But in Fernandinho, City have one of the best defensive-minded midfielders in world football. Give him the task of shackling a gifted playmaker and he excels.

And he isn't just a destroyer. He's one of the best around at starting attacks thanks to his superb range of passing. 

It’s a duel that will provide a fascinating subplot to Saturday’s game.    

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2Issa Diop vs Sergio Aguero

Goals have been spread around healthily the City’s squad so far this season, but Sergio Aguero remains our main threat in the final third.

He’s scored 11 in 15 games this season, a fine record that only serves to reinforce his reputation as one of the most potent marksmen in the game. He now sits eighth on the list of all-time Premier League top scorers with 151, one ahead of Michael Owen, who played 108 games more than Aguero.

Issa Diop, who will have the job of nullifying Aguero, looks a fine signing. Quick and strong, the 21-year-old is an imposing figure at the back for the Hammers and has plenty of scope for further improvement.

But there are few harder tasks for a centre-half than trying to contain City's No. 10 for 90 minutes. Aguero, with his low centre of gravity and explosive pace over the first five yards, will fancy his chances of causing the 6’ 2’’ Diop problems.

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3Pablo Zabaleta vs Leroy Sane

Few players are as popular with the City fans as Pablo Zabaleta.

The Argentine was central to our success between 2011 and became one of Europe's best right-back in the process. 

But as his age began to catch up with him, and with Guardiola looking to play a fast, expansive style, Zabaleta was allowed to pursue a new challenge.

His form for West Ham this season has been good and, unsurprisingly, his relationship with the fans in East London has blossomed nicely.

Leroy Sane, though, is one of the most electric wingers in the Premier League. Zabaleta, 33, won't enjoy seeing the German, who delivered a man-of-the-match display for his country this week, running at him. 

4Marko Arnautovic vs John Stones

West Ham’s outstanding performer this season has undoubtedly been Marko Arnautovic. 

A player who struggled somewhat immediately after his move from Stoke in 2017 is now a firm crowd favourite.

He has so many qualities. He’s strong and quick, works hard off the ball, pulls defenders into areas they don’t want to be in and, when given a chance, has the quality to produce.

John Stones will enjoy the challenge. He has been exceptional so far this season alongside Aymeric Laporte, with the pair now widely considered the best combination in the division. 

Keep Arnautovic quiet and West Ham will struggle to find goals. 

You can follow live updates of Saturday's game via our Matchday Centre right here on mancity.com 

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