When the two teams met at the London Stadium last season, the scoreline ended 4-0 to Manchester City, with the visitors two goals ahead within twenty minutes and 3-0 up before the interval.

However, a later meeting at the Etihad Stadium in February was a much closer affair, with the Hammers only beaten 1-0 thanks to a Sergio Aguero penalty. There’s a case for expecting a similarly close affair this time around.

We all know that City have the potential to blow teams off the park with their high possession football and penetration, although we should note that Vincent Kompany is no longer that rock at the back which helped the team get over the line last term.

John Stones continues to be error-prone in the heart of the defence and Pep Guardiola is short of a decent left-back now that Benjamin Mendy is once again injured, with Aleksandar Zinchenko seemingly the best option in that position.

Manuel Pellegrini has been given the option to strengthen the West Ham squad this summer, even if losing Marko Arnautovic was a large blow considering the Austrian’s ability to score goals for the Hammers.

However, Sebastien Haller has arrived from Frankfurt for £45 million and will be joined on the pitch by Pablo Fornals, a Spanish playmaker from Villarreal who could team up well with Declan Rice this season.

Manchester City won’t be too preoccupied by winning this match by an emphatic margin and Guardiola will be keenly aware that dropped points must be kept at a premium now that Liverpool are capable of breathing down their necks.

Sergio Aguero was rested for the recent Community Shield encounter against Liverpool but should be back and firing for the team in this one, while Riyad Mahrez is expected to rejoin the squad after his African Cup of Nations success.

Having a fully fit Kevin de Bruyne in midfield will make a big difference but West Ham will have aspirations of their own this term, looking to build on a top half finish and they will want to finish as high as sixth place.

Pellegrini might fancy this to be a good time to be facing one of his former clubs that he previously steered to a title success and we can bet the Hammers with a 1.5 goal start knowing that a defeat by a goal will help us win the bet.

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West Ham +1.5 @ 47/50 with bet365

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