West Ham’s predicted starting XI for Manchester City clash

West Ham United could not have asked for a harder start to the 2019/20 season.

They face champions Manchester City at the London Stadium in a game that, really, is unlikely to define too much of their season.

They haven’t beaten City since 2015 and have conceded eight goals in the last two games at the London Stadium.

This could be seen as something of a free hit, then, but the Irons have had their expectations raised by some exceptional summer business.

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They broke their transfer record to secure Sebastian Haller from Eintracht Frankfurt and also signed Pablo Fornals from Villarreal for £24m. Deals for Goncalo Cardoso and Albian Ajeti were pushed through prior to the transfer deadline.

It is unlikely that either of the latter two will play, such has been their lack of pre-season training, but both Haller and Fornals could make their debuts.

Lukasz Fabianski has recovered from an injury sustained in pre-season, though Mark Noble is out with a dead leg, per sources.

Fabianski playing in goal will be something of a boost, while Ryan Fredericks and Arthur Masuaku are likely to feature at full-back, while Issa Diop will surely partner Fabian Balbuena.

Declan Rice is perhaps the first name on the teamsheet, such was his impressive 2018/19 campaign, while Jack Wilshere should partner him, after his return to fitness.

Fornals will look to adjust to Premier League football on the right flank, with Felipe Anderson and Manuel Lanzini automatic starters when they are healthy. Andriy Yarmolenko could offer a significant threat off the bench.

Starting Haller up front is something of a risk but the Irons will hope it pays off.

There is also the opportunity to potentially leave him on the bench and start Javier Hernandez but one imagines that the former Frankfurt forward is the more likely starter.

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