By West Ham Zone speaking to Frank McAvennie

6th Aug, 2022 | 12:10pm

Pundit backs Michail Antonio to start over Gianluca Scamacca for West Ham United v Manchester City

We’re delighted to welcome former West Ham United striker Frank McAvennie as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at the London Stadium…

Frank McAvennie expects Michail Antonio to start over Gianluca Scamacca in the opening Premier League game of the season between West Ham and Manchester City.

The Hammers completed the £35m signing of Italy international Scamacca earlier this summer, but he’s yet to make an appearance after staying behind in London to continue training instead of playing in a friendly.

Now former striker McAvennie thinks Moyes will go with the Premier League proven option to start the season in such a big game, and expects the team to sit back and soak up pressure before trying to nick a goal to frustrate the champions.

“I think the nucleus of the West Ham team is possibly going to be the same,” he told West Ham Zone.

“He’ll probably start with one up front, whether it’s Antonio or the other guy [Scamacca]. But it’s going to be working. Antonio knows how to play that game of holding the ball up, so then he’ll bring the other guy on I would think in the second half.

“You can’t open up against Man City. I don’t think so. I think if you go toe to toe with them.. I don’t think West Ham are good enough to go toe to toe with them, Liverpool can.

“It’ll be very surprising if West Ham do that. I think they’ll have a game plan, they’ll sit in, look to frustrate Man City and hopefully nick a goal. That would be the way I see the game going. I cannot see them opening up. That’s the best thing I can hope for.”

The Irons take on Man City at the London Stadium on Sunday afternoon in a 4:30pm kick-off, live on Sky Sports.