Manchester City will hope to make it five Premier League wins from five games when they take on West Ham United at London Stadium on Saturday.
After a two-week hiatus for international football, City are back in action after dismantling Fulham 5-1 in a comprehensive win at the Etihad Stadium.
Erling Haaland scored a hat-trick on that day – his fifth in little over a year – and is already on six goals for the season after netting in City’s three other Premier League fixtures.
Manager Pep Guardiola does have some injury concerns to contend with and will know his side face a tricky game against an unbeaten West Ham who sit fourth in the table with ten points from a possible 12.
Here’s the XI Guardiola may pick to maintain City‘s perfect start.
GK: Ederson – The Brazilian has faced the least shots of any Premier League goalkeeper this season (7) – 22 fewer than Fulham’s Bernd Leno, who has been the most active between the sticks.
RB: Kyle Walker – “I’m not leaving!” were the words delivered in Jordan Belfort-esque style by Walker during his City contract extension announcement video. Good job too for the champions as the 33-year-old looks better than ever.
CB: Ruben Dias – May be operating without his usual running buddy John Stones for this one, but that won’t faze Dias – a player recently recognised by 90min as the world’s best central defender.
CB: Manuel Akanji – With Stones carrying a muscle injury, Manuel Akanji may be shifted into central defence alongside Dias; a role he’s excelled in on countless occasions.
LB: Nathan Ake – Rounding off the back four is another of Guardiola’s trusted lieutentants, Nathan Ake. Can play centrally, on the left of a three or in a flat back four and is basically brilliant wherever he’s needed.
DM: Rodri – The best defensive midfielder in the world, Rodri has also stepped his game up in terms of goalscoring. Just a bit unnecessary really, isn’t it?
RM: Phil Foden – The debate rages on over whether Foden is capable of playing in central areas for City and England. The player himself thinks so, Pep Guardiola and Gareth Southgate not so much. Either way, Foden is fantastic out wide and should be a real menace for Emerson Palmieri.
AM: Julian Alvarez – Four Premier League starts for Alvarez shows he has a big role to play for City this season. Two goals and an assist is a pretty handy return for the World Cup winner.
AM: Bernardo Silva – Quashed speculation over his future by signing a new City contract, though that’s unlikely to prevent Barcelona from crawling back next summer. Another star in this side who’s capable of unlocking any defence.
LM: Jeremy Doku – Sampled his first taste of Premier League football during City’s convincing 5-1 win over Fulham and is in line for more here with Jack Grealish carrying a thigh injury.
ST: Erling Haaland – Bagged his fifth Premier League hat-trick against Fulham and is already up to six goals for the season. Has fond memories of playing at West Ham, scoring a brace on his debut for City last season.