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Iceland Friendly Preview: Manchester City v West Ham United

Iceland Friendly Preview: Manchester City v West Ham United

For the first time ever, Iceland is to host a Premier League pre-season friendly at the Laugardalsvöllur Stadium in Reykjavík between Manchester City and West Ham United.


The match kicks off at 2pm (local), 3pm BST, Friday 4th August 2017 - UK viewers can tune in to watch the game, live on Eurosport 1, and via the Eurosport Player. Coverage gets underway from 2.50pm BST.


Laugardalsvollur Stadium


Capacity - 14,800
3,500 (West stand)
6,300 (East stand)
2,000 (terracing) (North curve)
3,200 (terracing) (South curve)

Laugardalsvöllur is Iceland's premier national stadium. Built in 1958, it was one of the first stadiums to be constructed in the country. It is mainly used for football events, but also regularly houses athletic sporting events, with an eight man track running round the edge of the arena.


Visit Reykjavík

'We are very excited to announce that two top clubs from the Premier League are awaiting the Icelandic football fans this summer,' says Guðni Bergsson the President of the Fotball Association of Iceland.

Pep Guardiola

'We are really looking forward to this exciting game against West Ham, and visiting the spectacular city of Reykjavík. Iceland is a beautiful country, and it is going to be a real pleasure for us to take our team out there to experience the scenery and culture, meet the people and entertain the fans.

'We know that English football is loved by the fans out there, and we've had a fantastic welcome when we've played there in the past. This match will be a fantastic occasion, and we'll be looking to put on a great show for our supporters.

'Manchester City and West Ham played out some brilliant matches last season and this game will be no different - it will be the culmination of our pre-season preparations, and will be hugely important for us to tune the team in readiness for the new season.'

Slaven Bilić

'It is fantastic that we will make history by becoming the first Premier League clubs to face each other in Iceland, and we are really looking forward to visiting Iceland, where there is a very big West Ham following.

'Iceland captured the imagination of everyone with their fantastic performance at the European Championships last year and, although the country is small in population, they have a huge love for football. It is also the perfect fixture for City and ourselves, because we have great respect for each other and will both be looking for the same positives from the game, in terms of fitness and preparation for the start of the Premier League season a week later.'

Cult City hero Pablo Zabaleta and on loan keeper Joe Hart will face MCFC for the very first time.



Come on CITY!



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Tudor
Date:Wednesday August 2 2017
Time: 4:16PM

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Skoorbs preview:

City take on Premier League rivals West Ham United in the Laugardalsvöllur Stadium, Reykjavik, Iceland on Friday - the first time Premier League sides have played been hosted in the country.

Originally called the Thomas Cook trophy - City's shirt sponsors back in 2004 when the competition was initiated - this will be the sixth time this pre-season friendly will have been played away from the Etihad....coinciding when the name of the fixture changed as presumably Thomas Cook's sponsorship deal ended. In the first ever match under Kevin Keegan in August 2004, City defeated Lazio 3-1 with goals from Anelka, Macken and Sibierski.

City will be looking for their first win in the match since they won 2-0 against Arsenal in the Birds Nest stadium, Beijing in 2012 when it was called the 'Winoly Cup'. No, I have no idea what a Winoly is either. Since that victory City have managed to lose each successive outing in Helsinki (Arsenal), Stuttgart (Stuttgart) & Gothenburg (Arsenal).

Pep will be looking for a victory to finish his team's very short pre-season preparations - this will be only the fourth pre-season match. Having finished second in the USA section of the International Champions Cup after creditable victories over Real Madrid and Spurs, the squad will want to end their travels on a high....and avoid any injuries. Apart from long term absentee Ilkay Gundogan and new arrival Benjamin Mendy, Pep will have a full squad to select from and we can perhaps expect to see something of the Other Silva, Bernardo who has joined the squad after extended leave following his participation in the Confederations Cup.

The match presents the first opportunity for ex-City stalwart and living legend Pablo Zabaleta to make his first ever appearance against the Blues - and THAT is going to be weird both for him and City supporters. Of course there is every likelihood that this may well get overshadowed by the potential sight of Joe Hart in goal for the Hammers - his loan deal is unlikely to preclude appearing against his home team in a pre-season friendly - although with the Neymar transfer this week one suspects that the back page editors might have other fish to fry. Bilic's side are also likely to feature new signings Arnautovic from Stoke and ex-rag Hernandez (Chiquitita to his friends- https://youtu.be/p4QqMKe3rwY ).

Further outings are possible for City youngsters Foden, Diaz, Adarabioyo & Duhenny and possibly Muric or Grimshaw at some stages. Also this provides a final pre-season opportunity for Nasri and Mangala to appear in the transfer shop window although the announcement of a further friendly fixture in Spain against CFG sister club Girona on 19th August means that they may yet get a further run out to impress suitors. Despite showing what he is capable of on the US tour, Nasri is toast as far as I can read between the lines but, whilst I have not seen all the minutes played by Mangala on the USA, I didn't think he played badly and surely has shown enough promise to merit another shake at the club although Pep's inferences in a recent press conference about looking to bring in another centre back ("if there is enough money") would seem to indicate that Elaquim's future lies away from the Etihad.

Will Pep stick once again with the three at the back with flying wing backs or revert to a traditional back four for this encounter? I think he has seen enough in his first season in the Premier League to realise that he has to be flexible in deploying his resources and adapting his selections and tactics to the opposition so I would expect him to mix things up a bit and wouldn;t be surprised for him to deploy a traditional back four against Bilic's men tomorrow.

The forecast for the game is around 11C, overcast with light wind.

Possible Starting XI

Ederson

Walker, Stones, Kompany, Danilo

Sterling, Silva (Bernardo), De Bruyne, Roberts

Aguero, Jesus

Subs -
Muric, Otamendi, Mangala, Duhenny, Toure, Silva (D), Diaz, Foden, Nasri, Sane

The game will be available live on Eurosport

Come on City!!!
Tudor
03/08/2017 10:01:00
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