Trevor Sinclair believes West Ham have the firepower to catch Manchester City cold when his two former clubs meet on the first weekend of the 2019/20 Premier League season.
Saturday ‘s lunchtime kick-off at the London Stadium is live on talkSPORT as we prepare to bring you more football than ever before and there is a rare feeling of optimism around east London heading into the Hammers’ opening match of the campaign.
Pablo Fornals and Sebastien Haller represent hugely exciting summer additions – and Sinclair explains why that’s not the only reason West Ham will be a force this season.
“I think they’re stronger and it’s not necessarily because of the signings,” the former England star told talkSPORT.
“If you look at the players who are coming back – Manuel Lanzini had a season to get over his injury, Jack Wilshere could be really key if he can keep fit. If they can get him out on the pitch, that would be a massive boost. The amount of IQ and experience he’s got at the top level.
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“Then you look at the signings with Haller, it looks like they’ve got a focal point up there to replace Marko Arnautovic. Hopefully, he’ll be a bit less troublesome.
“Pablo Fornals looks like a really gifted, cultured player. He looks after the ball, typically as a Spanish player, he’s got a fantastic technique and he could be a really good addition.
“I don’t think there’s any point in facing a Man City team and saying, ‘Let’s get a lot of players behind the ball and defend’, because Man City usually find an answer to break you down.
“They’ve got great fire power. Felipe Anderson is a superb player. He looks after the ball, he can beat a man, his pressing ability is great. Sebastien Haller looks exciting and pacey.
“When you’ve got that much artillery in your squad, I think it’s a waste if you don’t go and attack Manchester City try and catch them early doors in the season.
“A lot of players have been on holiday and had extended breaks because of international competitions. Let’s see if they can surprise them and upset the odds.
“Man City’s record against West Ham is unbelievable, they’ve scored so many goals and conceded very little in recent years, but I think West Ham got a team to cause Man City problems.”
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But Sinclair also fires an ominous warning to West Ham by reminding them of City’s utterly ridiculous quality in attack.
And worryingly, the former City winger expects Pep Guardiola’s double-winning side to get even better. “I don’t think Pep is the kind of manager to rest on his laurels,” Sinclair added.
“He’s always after more and it’s difficult to even contemplate that after last season.
“When you look at the front five or six, it’s an absolute joke. Bernardo Silva was absolutely out of this world last year. Kevin de Bruyne only played half the games, so that’ll be like a new signing. The riches they’ve got are embarrassing.
“Bringing Rodri in there, he’s performed well in the pre-season games and you would expect him to try and win that position over Fernandinho.
“We’ve not even spoken about Ilkay Gundogan and Phil Foden, who Pep said is the most talented player he’s ever worked with.
“I don’t think Pep said that to give him a confidence boost, I think he actually believes it. From what I’ve seen, he is an exceptional talent.”
Saturday is GameDay on talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2 as we become your go to destination for all the Premier League action. We’ll bring you LIVE commentary of Premier League games across all three time slots on Saturday – 12.30pm, 3pm and 5.30pm – delivering award-winning coverage to more GameDay listeners than ever.