Manchester City preview

Barclays Premier League
Manchester City v West Ham United
City of Manchester Stadium
Sunday 24 August
Referee: Howard Webb
Live on Sky Sports

WHUTV - Full audio commentary


* Alan Curbishley expects to have largely the same squad that won 2-1 at home to Wigan Athletic on Saturday 16 August for what will be the first home match for new Manchester City manager Mark Hughes. He began his City career with a 4-2 defeat at Aston Villa on the opening day.

* Curbishley said: "I think Mark Hughes knows what he is doing. He has been very successful. I don't see that changing. Once he gets embedded at Man City, they will be a decent side. They were a decent side last year ... I am expecting them to do OK this year."

* Speaking to, Hughes said: "They had a decent result at the weekend, they got off to a good start which settled everybody down, scoring two goals quite early on. By all accounts they were put under pressure by Wigan in the second half and could have lost the game in the end. The key for us is that we are nice and solid at the back."

* The teams met four times last season - twice in the league and twice in the FA Cup - with this weekend's hosts just having the better of it with a win and two draws.

* Dean Ashton scored twice in the win against Wigan and has happy memories of playing against City as he struck twice there in the 2-1 win in the 2005/06 FA Cup quarter-final meeting as the Hammers went all the way to Cardiff.

* Ashton has six goals in five pre-season matches while in competitive league matches he has struck seven goals in his last nine appearances.

* Going back to last season, West Ham United have not won in six matches on their travels and lost the last three while City have not won any of their last four league meetings. This weekend's hosts have not lost any of the last half-dozen meetings between the two clubs.

* City have never lost their opening two matches in any of their previous eleven Barclays Premier League campaigns. Last season, West Ham United won their first three away games in all competitions.

* Mark Hughes is well known to Lucas Neill as the club captain played under the Manchester City manager when both were at Blackburn Rovers.

* West Ham United are next in action at home against Macclesfield Town in the Carling Cup second round on Wednesday night, the day before Manchester City go to Denmark hoping to overturn a 1-0 first-leg deficit against FC Midtjylland in the UEFA Cup second qualifying round.

Last time out

Saturday 16 August - West Ham United 2-1 Wigan Athletic
West Ham United: Green, Behrami, Davenport, Upson, Neill, Faubert (Boa Morte 86), Parker (Mullins 72), Noble, Etherington, Ashton (Sears 73), Cole
Subs not used: Lastuvka, Reid, Bowyer, Spence
Goals: Ashton 3, 10

Saturday 16 August: Aston Villa 4-2 Manchester City
Manchester City: Hart, Corluka, Richards, Ben-Haim, Garrido, Etuhu, Gelson (Ireland 81), Johnson, Petrov, Elano, Evans (Sturridge 81)
Subs not used: Schmeichel, Ball, Onuoha, Caicedo, Hamann
Goals: Elano 64 pen, Corluka 89

Team news

* Dean Ashton has been in training this week after coming off late in the game against Wigan with severe cramp in his calf and should play. Scott Parker was also replaced with a thigh problem but it is hoped he could figure.

* Lucas Neill, Valon Behrami, Matthew Upson, Mark Noble and Holmar Orn Eyjolfsson all came through international duty with their respective countries on Tuesday and Wednesday.

* George McCartney has been back at Chadwell Heath after a virus that laid him low for nearly two weeks just as he was recovering from a hamstring injury. He could play in a practice game in midweek alongside some others getting near to fitness.

* Anton Ferdinand and Craig Bellamy are getting closer to their playing returns after hamstring injuries suffered on 4 August away to Ipswich and have been in training.

* James Collins and Nigel Quashie got 45 minutes each against Queen's Park Rangers in a behind closed doors game last Tuesday. Collins has not played since mid-January when he suffered a knee ligament injury while on reserve-team duty. Quashie last played for the second string back in December and has had a persistent foot injury.

* Luis Boa Morte, who scored both goals in the 2-2 draw against QPR, and Lee Bowyer played the majority of the game and will be pushing hard for a first-team start at the City of Manchester Stadium.

* James Tomkins and Jack Collison could be back in two to three weeks after knee problems suffered on England U19 duty and training respectively.

* Jonathan Spector should be back at Chadwell Heath in September to continue his rehabilitation from hip surgery. Kieron Dyer is also continuing his personal training programme as he bids to return from his double leg break. Danny Gabbidon is the main long-term absentee with his abdominal problem.

* City will be without the suspended Richard Dunne but are hoping new signing Vincent Kompany - who joined from Hamburger SV on Friday - could take his place at the back, provided he gets clearance to play. He is the third new recruit after Brazil striker Jo and Israel centre-back Tal Ben-Haim.

* Up front, Jo will not be back from Olympic duty in time to feature while Bulgaria striker Valeri Bojinov is sidelined with an achilles injury suffered last week. To further complicate matters, Darius Vassell (knee) and Benjani (thigh) are also expected to miss out.


* The 2007/08 league season started with City's trip to the Boleyn Ground on 11 August and it was the first game in charge for manager Sven-Goran Eriksson, who lasted only a season. Rolando Bianchi (18) and Geovanni (87) scored both goals. That was followed by the first FA Cup third-round meeting on 5 January again in east London when neither side could break the deadlock in a contest that saw Robert Green and Joe Hart excel.

* The replay at the City of Manchester Stadium was again a tight affair and only a 73rd-minute headed goal from Elano separated the sides. The final meeting last season was the 1-1 league draw four days later on 20 January. Carlton Cole scored a terrific overhead kick in the eighth minute before Darius Vassell struck a 16th-minute equaliser.

* The lineups in that last meeting were:

West Ham United: Green, Neill, Ferdinand, Upson, McCartney, Ljungberg, Noble, Mullins Bowyer (Spector 90), Boa Morte (Faubert 71), Cole
Subs not used: Wright, Collins, Reid

Manchester City: Hart, Corluka, Dunne, Richards, Ball, Ireland (Geovanni 68), Hamann, Elano (Garrido 78), Petrov, Vassell (Gelson 58), Bianchi
Subs not used: Isaksson, Onuoha

Head to head (last six meetings, league unless stated)

20 January 2008 - Manchester City 1-1 West Ham United
16 January 2008 - Manchester City 1-0 West Ham United (FA Cup)
5 January 2008 - West Ham United 0-0 Manchester City (FA Cup)
11 August 2007 - West Ham United 0-2 Manchester City
30 December 2006 - West Ham United 0-1 Manchester City
23 September 2006 - Manchester City 2-0 West Ham United

Overall record v Manchester City (all competitions): W 34, D 14, L 38

Barclays Premier League fixtures (all 3pm unless stated)

Saturday 23 August

Blackburn Rovers v Hull City
Fulham v Arsenal (5.30pm)
Liverpool v Middlesbrough
Newcastle United v Bolton Wanderers
Stoke City v Aston Villa
Tottenham Hotspur v Sunderland
West Bromwich Albion v Everton

Sunday 24 August

Wigan Athletic v Chelsea (1.30pm)

General information

For ticket information, click here. For details of getting to the City of Manchester Stadium, click here

Weather: The forecast is for an overcast day with sunny spells. The temperature is set to peak at around 19C.