In what could turn out to be one of the most interesting games of the Premier League in its first weekend, Manuel Pellegrini’s West Ham United will face off against defending Premier League champions Manchester City at the London Stadium, early on Saturday.
The Hammers have failed to beat City on each of the last seven occasions, but with the season set to start with this game, Pellegrini will certainly believe that his side can take something from this tie.
West Ham have made a few exciting signings this summer, a couple of who can make a difference straight away. But who will be crucial for West Ham to take a point or three from Manchester City?
Here are three players who can help The Hammers beat City this weekend:
Arguably one of the best wingers on display in the game, Anderson had a superb debut campaign in the Premier League and will want to take his game a step further this season. He proved hard to mark for even the best of defenders in the league and in full force, he could easily break through City’s defence.
Pep Guardiola will not have players marking him so if he can find good positions in attack and make a difference on the counter, West Ham United will certainly be a tough nut to crack in this game.
The Brazilian will also be responsible for holdup play, keeping the likes of Kyle Walker on his toes and relieving pressure on his backline. If he ends up having a good game, The Hammers may well take a point or two from this game.
The former Arsenal man has the quality to produce defence-splitting passes regularly. He can be effective in turning defence into attack and if can feed the likes of Anderson and Michail Antonio early on the counter, City will have face a tough task in this game.
Wilshere will always put in the hard yards and if he can gamble and win the ball high up the field, he can disrupt City’s plans and make them weaker.
The midfielder has the ability to control the tempo of the game in the middle of the park, but West Ham need him at his best to take anything from this game.
A newbie to the Premier League, Haller is a relative unknown and but considering the ability he has, he will be a test for Aymeric Laporte and John Stones on the first matchday of the Premier League this season.
The 25-year old is adept at winning air balls regularly while his ability to hold up play high up the pitch will certainly put pressure back on City.
The chemistry he will have with the rest of the squad might be an issue, having joined the club just this summer, but Haller is just the kind of a player who can find the back of the net against the run of play and will be a big outlet for West Ham.
He may well have a game to forget, but if Haller is at the top of his game, City are in for a surprise in the capital city.