Pep Guardiola couldn’t have asked for a much better start to life at Manchester City.
His four games have seen four wins, 12 goals scored and only two conceded. The Spaniard has taken to English football like a duck to water.
West Ham, City’s opponents on Sunday, haven’t had quite as smooth a start to the season.
Injuries to key players Dimitri Payet, Andy Carroll, Aaron Creswell and record signing Andre Ayew have overshadowed their move to the London Stadium – their eight men absent is the highest in the Premier League.
The Hammers have won one and lost one in the league, though they face probably the toughest away assignment of the season this weekend at the Etihad.
However, marquee away performances were the hallmark of Slaven Bilic’s first term in charge.
The Croat led his side to wins at Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City – the victory at this weekend’s opponents came with just 28 percent possession.
I can’t see a repeat this time around, however.
Unlike the sometimes soft underbelly of Manuel Pellegrini’s team last year, Guardiola’s City have been ruthless in dispatching their opponents, and play with an attacking flair that would make Barcelona blush.
With a depleted squad, and with the after-effects of a Thursday Europa League fixture to contend with, I think City will be too strong.
There isn’t much value in an outright City win, though, so I am backing Betway’s 7/2 for a draw HT/Man City FT double result.
Both of West Ham’s Premier League games have been level at the break, and they might have enough to at least delay the inevitable.
I also advise selling goals at 3.3 with Sporting Index, which looks too high for me – even for Guardiola’s City.
Draw HT / Man City FT 7/2 (Betway)
Sell total goals 3.3 (Sporting Index)