Erling Haaland could make his Premier League debut at West Ham, after Manchester City were given a trip to the London Stadium to open their 202/23 campaign.
City face Liverpool in the Community Shield the week before their trip to London, where Haaland could make his first domestic outing at his new club, and he will be with the squad for their tour of the USA in July. For the Premier League, though, he looks set to make his bow at West Ham, before a potential home debut against Bournemouth the following week.
West Ham held City to a 2-2 draw at the end of last season at a noisy London Stadium, and City will need to be at their best from the start to begin the season with three points.
Ederson will keep his place in goal this season, with Pep Guardiola facing a similar set of decisions in defence for 2022/23. Ruben Dias will likely be first choice in central defence. Then, it’s up to John Stones and Aymeric Laporte to compete for the spot next to him, with Laporte often favoured to offer a left-footed option.
Kyle Walker and Joao Cancelo are the strongest full-back options, with Cancelo on the left, although Aleks Zinchenko is always a strong option, and a new left-back could also arrive to create competition.
Rodri, Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo will be City’s strongest midfield trio, with defensive midfield another area City could strengthen.
In attack, Haaland should be first choice in attack and will need games to adapt to his new surroundings through the middle. Julian Alvarez should be eased in to action after playing through the summer with River Plate.
On the wings, Phil Foden, Raheem Sterling, Riyad Mahrez, Jack Grealish and Gabriel Jesus will compete for the final two spots, with at least two linked with exits which may decrease the competition. Foden on the left and Mahrez on the right could be the best starting option, with others rotated in and out to cope with the fixture congestion.
Man City’s strongest XI to face West Ham: Ederson; Walker, Dias, Laporte, Cancelo; Rodri, De Bruyne, Bernardo; Mahrez, Haaland, Foden.
Phil Foden has told new Manchester City striker Erling Haaland how to reach his full potential at the Etihad, as he previewed his relationship with the Blues’ new signing.
City unveiled Haaland this week after the striker completed a £51m transfer from Borussia Dortmund, and he impressed fans with his love for the club and knowledge of how they play when sitting down for his first interview.
Haaland was also asked about linking up with Foden, with the pair already full of admiration for each other having shared an embrace on the pitch after City’s 2021 Champions League win at the Etihad over Dortmund.
“I have been watching a lot of City games for as long as I can remember,” said Haaland, challenging Foden to get even better, and previewing their partnership on the pitch.
“Of course, then I also watched Phil and he is an amazing player. He is still a talent because he is still young, but he is an amazing player. He still has to develop and then we can really talk.”
Now, Foden has given his verdict on Haaland’s arrival and set a challenge of his own, saying he is looking forward to building that relationship and stating that he expects City’s new striker to boost the squad in all areas – but he will have to work hard like the rest of his new teammates.
Foden gave his thoughts on how Haaland will fit into the City starting XI, telling Sky Sports: “I’m looking forward to it, he’s a massive signing for us, next season he’ll help us a lot.
“We seem to have a lot of scorers, maybe it’s down to the rotation but we’re so good as a team. Maybe we don’t have individual players. We work hard as a team, and believe in each other.”
Before the season finished, Foden had expanded on how he expects to link up with Haaland when he said: “Obviously it’s a great addition to the team. He’s one of the best finishers in world football at the moment.
“He’s going to be great for us next season and hopefully he can help us. It’s definitely such a big signing for the club. We’ve played without a striker this year and still done very well. He’s going to be a great addition.
“We’re still trying to focus on this season because he’s not going to be here until next. The main focus is this season, hopefully he can help next. He’s got a lot of physicality, loves to run in behind. I think it’ll definitely be good for our game.”
While there is hope that Erling Haaland will go on to become one of the club’s greatest ever signings, for now GOAL has selected the current top 10
From a first trophy at the turn of 20th century through to the unprecedented success of the modern era, Manchester City have signed some incredible players who have gone on to write their names into the history books.
The latest player to walk through the door at the Etihad Campus, Erling Haaland, is hoping to join that list one day, and it is difficult to predict him not being an overwhelming success in Manchester.
But for now, which transfers will be remembered as the greatest in the club’s history? GOAL has had a go at picking out the top 10…
The £35 million that City paid Atletico Madrid for Aguero now looks like an utter bargain following his 10 epic years of service.
The Argentina striker left as the greatest goalscorer in the club’s history with 260 goals, blitzing Eric Brook’s record of 177 that had stood since 1940.
Adding in three Community Shield medals, he is City’s most decorated player with five Premier League titles, six League Cups and an FA Cup success.
Then there was the most iconic moment in Premier League history when he scored the 94th-minute winner on the final day of the 2012 season to secure the title.
Already in the Premier League Hall of Fame, he more then earned his statue outside the Etihad Stadium.
Critics will insist that City’s recent success has been built around money, so to have a key figure sign for just £100,000 in modern times is extraordinary.
Hart was a 19-year-old, with more than 50 appearances in League Two, when City snapped him up from Shrewsbury Town for the bargain fee in 2006.
It took a few seasons for him to fully establish himself at the Etihad, but his stature grew after successful loan spells at Tranmere, Blackpool and Birmingham.
There was plenty of interest in Hart when he returned from St Andrews, but Roberto Mancini made him his number one ahead of Ireland international Shay Given and he kept the spot for the next six seasons.
He collected two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and two League Cup winners’ medals and produced some memorable performances, particularly in Europe, with Lionel Messi calling him a “phenomenon” after a remarkable game at Barcelona.
After 348 appearances and 12 years at the Etihad, Hart’s City career ended on something of a sour note after Pep Guardiola allowed him to leave after just one appearance under his stewardship.
There is only one stand at Manchester City named after a former player, and that player is the man nicknamed “The King of the Kippax”.
Bell joined from Bury for £47,500 – less than £1 million in today’s money – and went onto become, for many, the greatest player in the club’s history.
His energy and goalscoring prowess made him one of the most complete players of his era, and in a golden period for the club he won the title, FA Cup, two League Cups and a European Cup Winners’ Cup.
A serious knee injury impacted his later career, but he still accumulated 501 appearances for the club, as well as 48 caps for England.
He died in January 2021, and the 2022-23 home shirt has been designed as a tribute to the great City team of the late 1960’s, with Bell in mind.
Signed just before the Sheikh Mansour-era began, Kompany would become the leader on the pitch as City transformed into one of the most successful clubs in England.
The Belgian was playing in the Bundesliga with Hamburg and being tracked by top European clubs when Mark Hughes convinced Kompany to move to the Etihad for what would turn out to be a bargain £6m.
He was still to decide his best position, occasionally playing a a defensive midfielder, but it soon became apparent that he would become a leading centre-back.
In 11 years at the club, Kompany made 360 appearances and collected four Premier League winners’ medals, as well as winning the FA Cup twice and League Cup four times.
He was named the 2011-12 Premier League Player of the Season and was inducted into the competition’s Hall of Fame in 2022.
Persistent injuries hampered his later years at City, but he was still a key figure under Guardiola and scored an unforgettable 30-yard strike against Leicester City on what would be his final appearance at the Etihad – leaving the pitch in tears after waving goodbye.
Signed four years after the end of the Second World War, there were plenty of City fans that didn’t want a former German paratrooper to play for the club.
A former prisoner of war, Trautmann was an amateur at nearby St Helens Town when he moved to City amid protests from supporters.
Refusing to respond to abuse from crowds, especially away from home, he slowly turned opinion and was given a standing ovation from players and fans after being booed for most of a 1-0 defeat away to Fulham early in his his City career.
He went on to make 545 appearances for the club with an estimated 60,000 people attending his testimonial in 1964.
But he will be forever remembered for his heroics in the 1956 FA Cup final when he broke his neck with 17 minutes pf the game left and played on to help City secure a 3-1 victory over Birmingham.
City pulled off a coup by beating Barcelona and Real Madrid to the signing of Silva shortly after he had helped Spain lift the World Cup in 2010.
There were some concerns that the diminutive playmaker would not be physical enough for English football, but after a slow start, he quickly settled that issue.
Nicknamed ‘El Mago’, Silva matched his incredible vision and quick feet with a fighting spirit that often went under appreciated.
Many see him as the most talented player to ever wear the City shirt, and from 436 appearances, he won four Premier League titles, two FA Cups and five League Cups.
The coronavirus pandemic robbed the City fans of an opportunity to say their farewells before he returned to Spain following a remarkable and successful decade in blue.