We take on Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in our glamorous penultimate friendly of pre-season in a very rare location later today, after completing the first two legs of our European tour in Austria and Germany over the past couple of weeks. In that time, Slaven Bilic’s boys have won only once against Fulham, drawn three against Sturm Graz ll, Werder Bremen and Altona 93 and lost once against Werder Bremen, but go into The Super Match with good fitness levels.
When and where?
The tie will take place at 3pm BST later today, at The Laugardalsvollur national stadium in Reykjavik. Although the venue has hosted a vast amount of Iceland’s international fixtures, it will be the first time that two Premier League clubs have ever met in the country.
Up until last year, The Nordic Island were relatively little-known in Footballing terms, but that was all to change at the 2016 European Championships. Heimir Hallgrímsson’s men stunned the world with an outstanding tournament in which they reached The Quarter-Final, knocking out England in The Round of 16.
Slaven Bilic is expected to field a reduced squad for the encounter with several members of the first-team travelling home. The likes of Aaron Cresswell, Manuel Lanzini, Diafra Sakho and suspended Winston Reid flew directly back to England to make final preparations for the new-season. Academy keeper Rihards Matrevics has been relieved of his first-team duties and will return to the U23’s, whereas Sofiane Feghouli, Michail Antonio, Andy Carroll and Cheikhou Kouyate are all expected to miss the start of the season. However, skipper Mark Noble will return from the toe injury that has kept him out of the last two games and Chicharito could make his full Hammers debut.
The Citizens have made the trip to Iceland with a relatively full-squad, that includes the likes of Sergio Aguero, David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne and Vincent Kompany to name a few talisman who could feature. New signings Kyle Walker, Ederson and Danilo are all in the 23-man squad, with midfielder Bernado Silva expected to make his City debut in the clash. One notable absentee for Pep Guardiola is Claudio Bravo, who is yet to return after being on international duty at The Confederations Cup with Chile.
We have not fared so well in recent times against the Manchester Club, and lost all three of our clashes with them last season. The Citizens also have an impressive goal scoring record against Bilic’s men, thrashing us 0-5 and 0-4 at The London Stadium last term.
Notable encounters over recent times between us and City have been the 9-0 aggregate victory for The Citizens over us in the 2014 Capital One Cup Semi-Final. However, despite City’s dominance over the clash in recent years, we did run out winners over them at home in October 2014 and at The Etihad in September 2015.
Competitive games involving West Ham United and Manchester City: 105
Manchester City wins: 51
West Ham United wins: 37
The Citizens have been one of the driving forces of English Football in the last decade, claiming their first Premier League Title in the 2011/2012 season with a Sergio Aguero last-minute winner. City would go on to capture the League and Cup double in 2014 under Manuel Pellegrini and have won another League Cup and an F.A Cup in the last six years. Nowadays, they are managed by Footballing Icon Pep Guardiola, who guided them to a third placed Premier League finish last term in his first season in charge.
In the last few weeks, The Sky Blues have been competing in The Champions Cup in the US, cruising to impressive victories over Tottenham Hotspur and Real Madrid but losing to bitter rivals Manchester United in Texas. Today’s fixture will also be the 11th time that City have hosted the annual Super Match and have faced the likes of Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund and A.C. Milan in recent years at locations all over the world.
Can I watch it?
The game is being broadcasted live on Eurosport 1 in the UK, but also on various channels in various different countries. You can also catch updates and reaction on @MooreThanAClub on Twitter throughout the historic fixture.