Competition/Round: 2019 Premier League Asia Trophy – Semi-Final
Venue: Nanjing Olympic Sports Centre, Nanjing, China
Referee: Craig Pawson
TV Info: Sky Sports Premier League (UK)
Live Stream: SKY GO Extra (UK)
After an enthralling 2018/19 season which saw Manchester City win the first English men’s domestic treble, the champions have returned from their summer holiday. 26 players have traveled on City’s pre-season tour, which commenced in Asia this week, and their opening pre-season friendly will be against familiar English club West Ham United.
Whilst Manchester City began their pre-season tour on Monday after a series of delays, West Ham United began their pre-season tour last week. They first kicked off their summer with a match against Asutrian club Altach. The Hammers defeated their Austrian opposition, and after a week of training and a friendly match, the Hammers should be better poised than their English counterparts.
How will these teams fare in the 2019 Premier League Asia Trophy Semi-Final?
Manchester City are without Ederson, Gabriel Jesus, Fernandinho, Sergio Agüero and Nicolás Otamendi as the South American contingency was away on international duty at the 2019 Copa América. Riyad Mahrez, who helped Algeria earn a place in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, will also be absent.
West Ham United have their full senior team available. Jack Wilshere and Andriy Yarmolenko, who both missed a significant portion of last season due to injury, have returned to full match fitness.
Bravo; Danilo, Stones, Laporte, Angelino; Rodri; Sterling, Aleix García, Luke Bolton, Sané; Nmecha
Manager: Pep Guardiola
West Ham United
Roberto; Dredericks, Diop, Ogbonna, Johnson; Sanchez, Noble, Lanzini; Snodgrass, Anderson, Yarmolenko
Manager: Manuel Pellegrini
The Sky Blues will look forward to first pre-season match this season. They will be rusty, however, as the majority of these players have not played football since late May or early June. Nonetheless, they will be well rested and will want to make a favourable impression on their first day back.
Meanwhile, the Hammers held their first pre-season match last week. They won the match 2-3 against Altach, and several of West Ham’s players are returning to full match fitness. The Hammers are also fortunate to have their entire squad on tour.
Given what has transpired, it is believed West Ham will have the slight edge in this competition. Their pre-season tour started one week ahead of Manchester City’s, and since they have already played a friendly match, the Hammers should be better prepared than their counterparts. The Sky Blues are the better team on paper, but given West Ham’s additional preparation, it is believed the Hammers will win this fixture.
Manchester City 2-3 West Ham United