Manchester City get their Premier League title defence underway this afternoon as they begin the new season at West Ham.
The Blues will be aiming to make an early statement as they look to make it a hat-trick of titles this season, having watched Liverpool drop points in their opening encounter at Fulham yesterday.
Pep Guardiola’s side though know all about the perils that could face them in London today, having had to come from behind to rescue a point against the Hammers in the final week of last season – a result which ultimately proved vital in City retaining their crown.
In terms of team news, Pep Guardiola makes just two changes from the team that lined up against Liverpool in the Community Shield last weekend, with Ilkay Gundogan and Phil Foden coming in for Bernardo Silva and Riyad Mahrez.
Haaland again!!!! Great ball by De Bruyne cuts West Ham open and Haaland slots home
Haaland scores!!! He side foots the penalty past Areola
Haaland brought down by Areola
Here, we look at the head-to-head statistics between the two sides, select some random information about this fixture and look at some of the players that have featured for both sides.
It’s anyone’s game
As football matches go, particularly with the blues, one team is usually dominant. But this fixture throws that logic out of the window. City won the first ever fixture at West Ham, 2-1 in April 1924, but won one of the following 12 visits. In fact, it wasn’t until 2006 that the blues started dominating the fixture.
City have lost just twice in the Premier League since that 1-0 win in December 2006, ending a dismal run of five defeats and one draw.
The blues have faced West Ham 53 times in the league and have come away with maximum points on 16 occasions.
However, they have walked away empty-handed 24 times. Not a good omen for the opening day of the season. On the bright side, Sunday’s meeting will be the third time these two have met at the home of the Hammers on the opening day in the Premier League.
The first was when Sven Goran Erikssen took his new City side to Upton Park in August 2007, with the blues winning 2-0. The second was a recently as 2019, when Pep’s men ran out 5-0 winners.
In even better news, City are unbeaten in seven Premier League matches and have lost just once in the league since 2009, that’s 12 visits and one defeat.
The blues have a four-match winning streak in the Premier League between February 2017 and August 2019. It’s a run that saw the blues hit 17 goals and concede just one. If you include the 5-0 FA Cup win January 2017, it’s an even longer run.
Defences not on top
Goals are a staple for this fixture (if you discount last season’s League Cup match). There have been 168 goals in this match, with City scoring 82 and West Ham hitting 86, so a fairly even stats between the two in all competitions.
City have kept just 17 clean sheets in all competitions while failing to score on 18 occasions, so it’s fair to say these two like scoring and don’t mind conceding the odd goal either. A stat backed up by the fact there has only been six goalless draws between them, with two of those in cup competitions.
For the superstitious
If you’re superstitious, you’ll be delighted to know that City have visited West Ham just three times in the month of August and won them all. On 27th August 1977, the blue won 1-0, and 30 years later, City won 2-0 at Upton Park. Then 12 years after that, the blues ran away 5-0 winners