Title holders Man City to get off to sticky start
Premier League champions Manchester City travel down on Sunday afternoon to face West Ham United at the London Stadium for the first match of 2022/2023. The close season has seen the hosts further strengthen their squad in the transfer market, whilst Pep Guardiola has allowed some high profile names to depart whilst also finally acquiring the services of Erling Haaland. As ever, David Moyes' side will provide a stiff challenge. Read our preview here:
The Irons took their spending north of £100m with the acquisition of wide player Maxwel Cornet from relegated Burnley on Friday, though it remains to be seen whether he was registered in time to feature this weekend. Another new face who might grace the pitch is striker Gianluca Scamacca. Up top last term was an area of concern for Moyes, with Michail Antonio often being the only conventional option. The former Sassuolo striker brings a similar aerial prowess to the frontline, and it will be intriguing to see what kind of relationship he strikes up with both Antonio and Jarrod Bowen.
The roster is arguably weaker at the time of writing than the collective who lifted the league trophy just three months ago. Oleksandr Zinchenko, Gabriel Jesus, and Raheem Sterling have departed for domestic rivals, whilst their pursuit of Brighton & Hove Albion's left-back Marc Cucurella ended in failure when he joined up with the latter at Chelsea. Haaland will be hoping for a more assured performance than he managed against Liverpool in the Community Shield as the focal point of the attack. Meanwhile, Guardiola admitted that Bernardo Silva might also leave the Etihad Stadium soon, though he should be in the midfield looking to supply the Norwegian superstar with the ammunition to get his career in England off to a bang.
Moyes has recruited sensibly in the transfer market, strengthening the weaker areas of the squad whilst also lowering the age profile. Though his counterpart in the visiting dugout hasn't had it all his own way in the current window, it would be a mistake to ever count Man City out. betway have surprisingly long odds of 5.25 for a draw between the two sides.