By Mike Southey

4th Aug, 2022 | 8:40pm

Jeff Stelling predicts West Ham United showdown v Manchester City

Jeff Stelling has backed Manchester City to beat West Ham United on the opening day of the Premier League season this weekend.

The Sky Sports journalist has predicted that it will finish 2-1 to the away side as the Irons welcome the champions to the London Stadium.

Stelling believes that Erling Haaland could open his account and potentially give the Hammers’ defence a “torrid” start to the season with David Moyes watching on.

Stelling shared his predictions for Sky Sports’ Super 6 and insisted it could be an awful time for the Irons’ defence as they look to navigate the toughest test of the season.

“Manchester City have a tough opening day fixture at West Ham, but they will ultimately have too much quality,” he wrote.

“Erling Haaland could open his account for his new team and it could be the start of a torrid time for defenders who face the Norweigan this season. Three points for the Premier League champions and Pep Guardiola in this one.”

Torrid.

West Ham United could not have wished for a tougher start.

But, with that being said, it will only be as hard as we make it for ourselves, something we proved in the same fixture during the 2021-22 season that finished 2-2.

Manchester City were left shellshocked as we went two goals to the good by taking the game to them and not letting them build possession and pressure.

As for Haaland, he wasn’t at his best against Liverpool in the Community Shield as expected last time out, so he will have a point to prove.

It will be down to Kurt Zouma and Issa Diop to do all they can to disrupt the Norweigian international throughout his Premier League debut, and they are more than capable.

If that can be done, there are still the likes of Kevin De Bruyne to navigate, and taking anything from this opening fixture will be a huge success.