Men's Team

Gvardiol and Bernardo come in to face Hammers

Pep Guardiola has made two changes from City’s last starting line-up before the international break for today’s game at West Ham.

Mateo Kovacic is missing through injury and is replaced by Bernardo Silva while Josko Gvardiol comes in for Nathan Ake on the left-hand side of the defence.

John Stones and Jack Grealish are also missing from the squad with Guardiola saying in his pre-match news conference that the pair and Kovavic have small injuries.

We do welcome back one familiar face with the City boss back on the touchline after being away for the last two games following surgery, although he was in constant contact with assistant Juanma Lillo and the bench for the wins against Sheffield United and Fulham.


WEST HAM XI: Areola, Coufal, Zouma (C), Aguerd, Emerson, Alvarez, Ward-Prowse, Soucek, Paqueta, Bowen, Antonio.
Subs: Fabianski, Cresswell, Fornals, Kudus, Mavropanos, Ings, Ogbonna, Benrahma, Kehrer.

CITY XI: Ederson, Walker (C), Dias, Akanji, GvardiolRodrigo, BernardoFoden, Doku, Alvarez, Haaland.

Subs: Ortega Moreno, Carson, Phillips, Ake, Gomez, Nunes, Bobb, Lewis.


After winning our opening four matches, it would be expected that City will line up with our familiar 4-3-3 formation that has been so successful.

The changes look like-for-like with Gvardiol to start in the left-back position, although he could be the player that takes on the hybrid midfield role.


Against Fulham, it was often Kyle Walker who made the extra man going forward with Manuel Akanji and Ruben Dias in the centre of defence and both could do the same to halt the counter-attacking threat from Michail Antonio.

Stopping that danger will also be important for Rodrigo in the holding midfield role. 

Guardiola has options further forward but it could see Bernardo take on Kovacic’s role with Julian Alvarez close to Erling Haaland in the centre of attack.

Phil Foden and Jeremy Doku are the likely wingers although they could start on either flank having swapped midway through the game against the Cottagers.


Routine Haaland

Erling Haaland’s opening four Premier League games for City this season have mirrored his record from his opening four games last season.

He started with a brace at the London Stadium last season, no goals in the second game, one goal and a hat-trick on the fourth matchday.

Let’s hope the pattern continues as the Norwegian scored his second hat-trick in his next game against Nottingham Forest.

Haaland, who scored in midweek for his country, starts with Julian Alvarez at the Hammers and Guardiola explained why the two strikers have begun every match this season.

“It starts because Kevin [De Bruyne] is injured and especially with Gundogan going to Barcelona we need players closer to Erling who have the sense of goal, not just Erling,” he said.

“When our attacking midfielders move away from Erling, we struggled to score goals and create chances.”


West Ham are winless in their last 15 Premier League games against City, drawing three and losing 12. Pep Guardiola is unbeaten in all 14 of his Premier League games against West Ham, winning 12 and drawing two.

City are unbeaten in their last eight Premier League away games against West Ham, since a 2-1 loss in October 2014, scoring  24 goals and conceding just six times.

West Ham  could win four in a row for the first time since November 2021. With 10 points, this is the Hammers’ joint-best start to a Premier League campaign since 1999/2000.

Erling Haaland’s opening four Premier League games for City this season have mirrored his record from his opening four games last season – a brace, no goals, one goal and a hat-trick. The Norwegian scored a hat-trick in his next game lasr season against Nottingham Forest.

West Ham midfielder James Ward-Prowse has scored or assisted at least once in each of his last five games in the Premier League (two goals, four assists). It's the second time he’s done so but has never been directly involved in a goal in six successive Premier League matches.