By Saikat Mandal

5th Aug, 2022 | 10:40am

Paul Merson predicts outcome of West Ham United v Manchester City

West Ham will take on Manchester City in their opening game of the brand new season on Sunday (7 August), where David Moyes will be looking to get a positive result at home.

While Manchester City, the reigning Premier League champions have signed Erling Haaland, the Hammers have added depth and quality to their ranks as well.

Paul Merson, while writing his column for Sportskeeda, has predicted a 1-1 draw for this game.

“This is a hard Premier League game for both teams. Manchester City employ a strong press, and this game could work out well for West Ham, with the way they play on the counter,” wrote Merson from Sportskeeda.

“It’s too early to say anything about Erling Haaland. He’s not a 27-year-old coming into the big boys’ league. He’s still a young kid who’s done well everywhere he’s been.

“West Ham are going to have 11 men behind the ball, and I’m not sure where Haaland’s power and pace will fit in there. When was the last time somebody scored a 1v1 for Man City? It’s very rare. I think he’s going to score a lot of Premier League goals because he plays for Manchester City, but they’ll be different to the goals he’s scored for Borussia Dortmund and Norway.

“I like Julian Alvarez as well – he’s a different kind of player. The only problem – when is he going to play? City do play a lot of football matches, and he’ll need to take his chances.

“I think Manchester City are slightly weaker than they were last season. Between Jesus and Sterling, you knew you were getting at least 25 goals every season. With Haaland and Alvarez, who knows? They could have 30 Premier League goals before Christmas, but they’ll need to prove their mettle.

“I remember this game in the Premier League last year. Man City had all of the ball, and West Ham pulled off counter after counter. I think this game will end in a draw, and I say that only because I can see how this game’s going to pan out.”

Good start needed

The new season brings new excitement, and the Hammers will look to make a strong start to the season. 

While David Moyes’ side are not done yet with their transfer dealings, the club should feel confident with the business they have done so far. 

Once again, they will aim for the top four, although it will be very difficult with Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur having bolstered their squad as well. 

The Hammers will miss the services of summer signing Nayef Aguerd for this game, but all eyes will be on Gianluca Scamacca. 

The 23-year-old joined from Sassuolo this summer, and he comes with a big reputation after an impressive 2021-22 campaign. 

He will be looking to make an immediate impact. The Hammers have done well to keep their best players at the club, like Declan Rice and Jarrod Bowen, and fans can hope that the players will give everything on the pitch to get into the top four.