Man City V West Ham at Etihad Stadium : Match Preview

By
27 August 2016
Man City V West Ham - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.


Pep Guardiola determined to get his message across at Manchester City

Pep Guardiola expects his methods to take time to sink in at Manchester City - but in the meantime he just wants to win games.

The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss has made a confident start as City's new manager, winning his first four games.

Some of the Spaniard's systems and tactics have been eye-catching, notably the fluid movement of defenders with full-backs pushing into central midfield and centre-backs moving wider.

Guardiola says the approach will be modified depending on opponents and he is not expecting his players to grasp everything immediately. For now he recognises the importance of merely winning games for confidence.

Reflecting on his first impressions of England, Guardiola said: "Congratulations to the Premier League because it is well organised with traditional stadiums. It's very tough, so demanding.

"But I will try and implement our point of view, our way, to see our game here in England. I'm so excited to convince our players to play the way we like. Until now, of course results help."

City host West Ham at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday looking to maintain their 100 per cent start in the Premier League.

Victory would give them three wins from three heading into the international break and set them up nicely for their next game, the derby against Manchester United at Old Trafford on September 10.

Willy Caballero is expected to return in goal after Guardiola said on Friday that new signing Claudio Bravo is fit but not yet ready for action.

Caballero had been preferred this season to England number one Joe Hart until sitting out the formality of City's Champions League play-off second leg against Steaua Bucharest in midweek.

Hart featured in that game - which City won 1-0 to complete a 6-0 aggregate success and qualify for the group stage - in what was widely perceived as a farewell appearance amid speculation over his future.

It remains to be seen, however, whether Hart moves on before next week's transfer deadline with potentially interested clubs such as Everton, Liverpool and Sevilla distancing themselves from the keeper.

Slaven Bilic has called on West Ham to put their European misery behind them and shock City for the second season running.

The Hammers were dumped out of the Europa League by Romanian side Astra Giurgiu after losing the second leg of their play-off 1-0 at the London Stadium on Thursday evening.

They do not have much time to lick their wounds, however, as next up is a trip to face Guardiola's side.

Yet West Ham pulled off a surprise early season-win at the Etihad Stadium last term and, despite a lengthy injury list including Andy Carroll and Andre Ayew, boss Bilic sees no reason why they cannot repeat the trick.

"It wasn't very likely last year because they had started great and had 15 points from five games without conceding a goal," Bilic said at his pre-match press conference.

"But we played a really good game. We scored twice in the first half.

"In the second half they put us under pressure and were really dominating and creating a few chances, but they missed them and we were good in defending the box. Then we made that huge win.

"There's no reason why we shouldn't do it this season. We know it's a big challenge, not only regarding our injury situation, but we are hoping and our whole plan is to have a good game and to get something out of it.

"It's going to be hard, of course. They've shown already they are top-class players and they've gelled.

"They were the most impressive in their Champions League game against Steaua in Bucharest, but what gives us hope is that Sunderland made it hard for them and so did Stoke - the result was 4-1 but it was not that easy and the game was very even for a long period.

"Man City were Man City last year and we can do it again."


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