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EPL Predictions: Man City vs West Ham

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Manchester City will take on West Ham United in their first Premier League game of the season today.

The Hammers are never easy to beat and their wily manager Moyes will be hoping to surprise the reigning champions.

West Ham Team analysis

West Ham have been really smart in the transfer market.

They have brought in Gianluca Scamacca from Sassuolo who can take on the goal-scoring responsibilities and reduce the load on Michail Antonio.

Another key player will be Maxwell Cornetwho has come from from Burnley.

However, new signing Nayef Aguerd will miss the start of the season due to injury.

In fact, Moyes will be concerned about the fitness levels of his squad.

Angelo Ogbonna is also continuing his rehab after missing most of last season with an ACL injury and is not yet fit enough to return.

Moyes is set to continue with the 4-2-3-1 formation he used last season.

Lukasz Fabianski will continue in goal while Alphonse Areola will be his deputy.

Craig Dawson and Kurt Zouma will form the central defensive partnership.

Vladimir Coufal and Aaron Cresswell will be the two full-backs.

Cresswell will also be in charge of set pieces.

West Ham have one of the best midfield partnerships in Tomas Soucek and Declan Rice.

Their physicality and ball-winning abilities will be crucial in containing the attack-minded Man City midfield.

Said Benrahma, Pablo Fornals, and Jarrod Bowen will feature just ahead of the midfield duo and complement the West Ham attack.

The West Ham attack could be spearheaded by Michail Antonio.

Likely Starting Line up (4-2-3-1):

Fabianski; Coufal, Zouma, Dawson, Cresswell; Rice, Soucek; Bowen, Fornals, Benrahma; Antonio

City will be hoping to give a debut from the start to Erling Haaland, and Julian Alvarez may be hoping to get a start himself after his goal in the Community Shield game against Liverpool.

Man City Team analysis

City are without Aymeric Laporte for the game, who is recovering from a knee surgery.

Laporte is not expected to return until September.

There are no other significant injuries in the team.

New signings Erling Haaland, Julian Alvarez and Kalvin Phillips can all make their Premier League debuts for Manchester City.

Alvarez and Phillips will start from the bench.

Manchester City look set to turn out in Guardiola’s customary 4-3-3 formation.

Nathan Ake looks set to partner Ruben Dias at the heart of the Manchester City defence, as John Stones is lacking match fitness.

Joao Cancelo played the highest number of minutes of any Manchester City player across all competitions last season and will be the left-back.

Kyle Walker will be the right-back.

Rodri should start in the holding midfield position, Bernardo Silva will don the right central midfield role, whereas Kevin De Bruyne is expected to start in the attacking midfield position.

In the final third, Guardiola will have to decide whether to pick Phil Foden or Jack Grealish from the start. The former Aston Villa man started against Liverpool last time out but was largely underwhelming, while Foden provided the spark off the bench.

Riyad Mahrez enjoyed the most productive season of his career in 2021/22, chipping in with 24 goals and nine assists in all competitions.

The Algerian winger is likely to feature in the final third, with star signing Haaland and Phil Foden

Likely Starting Line Up (4-3-3):

Ederson; Walker, Dias, Ake, Cancelo; De Bruyne, Rodri, Bernardo; Mahrez, Haaland, Foden

Who will win

Haaland could score on his EPL debut and Man City will win 2-0.

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WATCH: Cristiano Ronaldo performs obscene gestures as fans chant Lionel Messi’s name

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Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi

During the Saudi Pro League game between Al Shabab and Al Nassr, Nassr skipper Cristiano Ronaldo was seen making obscene gestures towards rival fans. The Shabab fans were chanting Ronaldo’s biggest rival Lionel Messi’s name. Not for the first time though, some Saudi football fans do prefer Messi over the Portuguese player. Meanwhile, during the game on Sunday, the Portugal international crossed all the limits as he made some obscene gestures.

Watch the video here

Talking about the game, the Yellow Brigade, Nassr won against Shabab. Ronaldo gave his team as he made the most of the penalty in the 21st minute of the game. However, in the injury time of the first half, Yannick Carrasco scored an equalizer before going into the break. In the first minute of the second half, Anderson Talisca gave a lead to Nassr. In the 67th minute, Carlos scored the equalizer for Shabab, and the game looked like ending in a tie before Talisca scored the match-winning goal in the 86th minute.

Meanwhile, the former Real Madrid player is set to face disciplinary action. As per the Saudi writer and television host, the disciplinary committee might take action.

“The disciplinary committee is facing the biggest test. We will wait and see. Everything has its limits, no matter how famous you are. This is how the major leagues are” Waleed Al Farraj, a prominent Saudi writer and television host, said on X.

Cristiano Ronaldo faced disciplinary action during his stint with Manchester United

A few months before the FIFA World Cup 2022, he threw a fan’s phone when he was part of the English club, Manchester United. He was banned for a few games which meant that he missed a few games for his current club, Nassr. However, the ban didn’t apply in the World Cup as he was available for selection during the tournament, in which his team lost the Quarterfinal to Morrocco.

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Virgil Van Dijk’s late strike in extra time helps Liverpool beat Chelsea in Carabao Cup final

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Liverpool emerged victorious in the Carabao Cup final in 2024. In a thrilling game which was full of twists and turns, Liverpool managed to beat Chelsea to clinch the cup. Jurgen Klopp’s men were awarded with the winner’s medal as they edged out Chelsea in a low-scoring thriller that went to extra time. The defence of both sides was good to watch.

The match had many edge-of-the-seat moments. In the first half, Liverpool attempted a lot of shots over Chelsea. While some were out of target, some were in the target, but stopped by the goalkeeper. Cody Gakpo was unlucky to find the ball hit the goalpost. The strike of the youngster went in vain as the first half did not witness any goal.

Liverpool’s skipper was brilliant in the game. He martialed his troops well and got the coordination going for a long time. He in fact nearly had a goal in the first half, only to be ruled out by the VAR, which was highly controversial. There is a debate for the legitimacy of the goal which was not given despite the help of the technology. Liverpool did not get carried away with the moment.

Captain brilliant Virgil Van Dijk steps up in crunch moments

Klopp deployed younger players as substitutes in the 2nd half. It helped Liverpool a lot as they were able to not just put pressure on Chelsea but also create a lot of chances. While none of them were converted to goals in the second half, they ensured that Chelsea’s players were in check. At one stage, the absence of Mohammad Salah in the middle was felt.

The match went to the extra time, where things got a bit closer. Chelsea attempted to score goals but ended up giving more advantage to Liverpool. The younger legs marked well and provided good assists to the forwards. The moment came in the 118th minute of the game, when Van Dijk netted the goal and helped Liverpool to win the prestigious title.

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Virat Kohli picks his ‘Sporting GOAT’

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Virat Kohli was asked to pick his ‘Sporting GOAT’ in a recent interview. The star cricketer was interviewed by Team Blue Rising who asked him to name the greatest sportsperson of all time. “Who is your Sporting GOAT?” asked the host to the star batter. Kohli did not hesitate to take the name of one of the greatest Football players as his pick for the question.

The Indian batter claimed Cristiano Ronaldo to be the greatest Football player of all time. “For me, it’s Cristiano Ronaldo,” said Virat in the interview. It came as no surprise to the fans, as Virat has always been a huge admirer of the star Footballer. Even in the past, the 35-year-old has expressed his admiration for the star player from Portugal.

In many instances, the Indian batter has claimed Ronaldo to be his favourite player. Ronaldo has been one of the best players the sport has ever seen. Many claim him to be arguably the greatest Sportsperson of all time. Virat has joined the list of those to claim him to be the greatest athlete in the sports world. Ronaldo has some records to back his claim for the title.

Legacy of Cristiano Ronaldo and Virat Kohli

The Portuguese Footballer has the greatest number of goals for an international team. He also has the greatest number of international caps for a player. The star player is the only player to win four major cups with two different clubs. He did it with Manchester United and Real Madrid. Cristiano has the second most number of Ballon d’Or titles (Five) after Lionel Messi.

Virat, on the other hand, is a great cricketer. He has the greatest number of hundreds for a batter in ODIs. Virat has the greatest number of hundreds in ODIs while chasing. He is also the highest run scorer for India in T20Is. Kohli has the most runs for a batter in the IPL. He has the greatest number of POTT awards for a player in the T20 WC and the ODI WC.

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