Pundit warns West Ham United of Erling Haaland threat ahead of clash vs 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 Erling Haaland to cause West Ham problems in the Premier League opening game this weekend at the London Stadium.

The Hammers are set to host the champions in the first game of the new season, where Norwegian striker Haaland is set to make his debut against the Irons defence.

And McAvennie says he’s happy that he’ll be indoors for the game rather than battling against City and expects David Moyes to set up a team to “shut up shop” but feels their defeat to Liverpool in the Community Shield was an eye opener.

“In the first game there’s nothing like facing the best team in the league,” he told West Ham Zone.

“It’s all about Sunday. I think they could be a little bit short. Nobody thought Liverpool were going to win the Community Shield on Saturday, so that was a big eye opener. Who knows? They’ve just got to go there and believe.

“They’ve got to have a game plan to shut up shop. It’s going to be interesting and one I’ll be watching to see Haaland up against our defenders. So seeing that will be interesting and I’ll enjoy that. Good luck to them. I’m glad I’m sitting inside.”

Summer signing Nayef Aguerd won’t be available in central defence after suffering an ankle injury in pre-season, while Angelo Ogbonna played with the Under 23’s on Friday night.

Flynn Downes could make his debut after joining from Swansea, while Moyes told the press on Friday that he didn’t expect Gianluca Scamacca to be available for his debut.

City were beaten 3-1 by Liverpool last weekend, while West Ham drew 0-0 with Lens in their final pre-season game of the summer.