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Man City v West Ham: Talking points

Five factors to consider ahead of Man City's final pre-season match against West Ham in Iceland.

1 First glimpse at Bernardo

After his Confederations Cup exertions, new signing Bernardo Silva was given an extended break by Pep Guardiola.

He returned to training at the CFA on Tuesday and could take his place in the City line-up for the first time in Iceland.

It’s a mouth-watering prospect for Blues fans. The 22-year-old was the key architect in Monaco’s Ligue 1 title win and run to the Champions League semi-finals last season, and is widely seen as the finest player Portugal have produced since Cristiano Ronaldo.

He rarely loses possession, has a fine eye for a pass and works incredibly hard off the ball – all the hallmarks of a Guardiola player.

Capable of playing from the right or as a No. 10, Bernardo is a player who possesses outstanding technical quality. 

2 All out attack

City’s 4-1 win over Real Madrid in LA and 3-0 victory over Tottenham in Nashville were serious statements of intent ahead of the new season.

Both games didn’t just see City win – they were defined by the quality of their attacking play.

City scored four goals in half an hour to blitz Champions League winners Real Madrid and then completely outplayed Spurs, overwhelming the Premier League side with their desire to go forward and attack.

It was exciting to watch and City will want to continue that approach against a fine West Ham side who have played five pre-season games and will be close to full match sharpness.

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3 Pace in wide areas

One of the most exciting developments on the US Tour was the introduction of Kyle Walker and Danilo to City’s flanks – two players offering width, pace and plenty of energy.

They gave City a new dynamism. They both looked to get forward and supplement the attack at every opportunity, and both produced quality in key areas.

With Walker and Danilo in the side, City look to have improved an already quality attacking unit.

4 Old friends

Pablo Zabaleta and Joe Hart are both likely to line up against City for the first time in Reykjavik.

Zabaleta completed a free transfer move to the Hammers in the summer after a glittering nine-year City career that saw him win a clean-sweep of domestic honours, and Hart followed him a few weeks later after agreeing a one-year loan switch.

They will no doubt receive a warm reception from the City fans who love nothing more than remembering fondly those who have worn the Blue shirt with distinction.

5 Build on US progress

City’s time in the US was a huge success. Three highly-competitive matches in front of huge crowds, with two fine wins to end the tour – it was ideal preparation for the new season.

This game in Reykjavik offers the squad one last chance to gain some vital match sharpness.

City will be desperate to pick up where they left off in LA and Nashville and finalise their preparations for the first Premier League game of the season away at Brighton next weekend.

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