Gianluca Scamacca not in Moyes’ 6 West Ham undroppables for Man City

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David Moyes has six undroppable players at West Ham United ahead of facing Manchester City on the opening day of the season, but new arrival Gianluca Scamacca may not be one.

Gianluca Scamacca not among West Ham undroppables for Manchester City

Gianluca Scamacca may not be among David Moyes’ six undroppable players at West Ham United ahead of facing Manchester City on the opening day of the Premier League season.

The Irons play host to the defending champions at the London Stadium on Sunday, August 7. Two goals from Jarrod Bowen almost saw the Hammers win the last time the two teams met in May. But Vladimir Coufal scored a 69th minute own goal to see the game finish 2-2.

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West Ham have not beaten Manchester City in the top-flight since September 2015, with a 2-1 win at the Etihad. The Irons also last beat the Citizens at home in October 2014, losing 11 of the following 15 all told. Manchester City won four of seven at the London Stadium.

Moyes has spent a lot to strengthen his side so far this summer after falling into the Europa Conference League places. West Ham paid Stade Rennes £30m for defender Nayef Aguerd, and paid Paris Saint-Germain £7.75m to keep Alphonse Areola after the goalkeeper’s loan.

The Hammers also handed over £12m to land midfielder Flynn Downes from Swansea City, as Moyes added depth after Mark Noble retired and Alex Kral returned to Spartak Moscow after his loan ended. West Ham further paid Sassuolo £30.5m to sign star striker Scamacca.

But Aguerd will miss the Irons’ curtain-raiser, as the Moroccan suffered an ankle injury in a pre-season friendly with Rangers. He underwent successful surgery at the end of July, and now faces an unspecified spell on the sidelines following just two non-competitive outings.

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No summer signings undroppable at West Ham against Manchester City

Downes is also unlikely to feature among Moyes’ undroppable West Ham players at home to Manchester City. Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek remain the Irons’ first-choice pairing in central midfield, having formed an elite partnership through the past two-and-a-half years.

Areola, similarly, may start the season on the bench after he failed to oust Lukasz Fabianski last term. The Frenchman only made one Premier League appearance in 2021/22, stepping in for Fabianski – who signed a one-year deal in July, after eight clean sheets in 37 outings.

Scamacca is the only one of West Ham’s four summer signings so far who may start against Manchester City, but he is not undroppable yet. The Italian will give Moyes a different sort of striker to what Michail Antonio poses, being a 6 ft 5 target man over a dynamic attacker.

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Moyes may be on the side of caution and stick with what he knows against Pep Guardiola on Sunday. Antonio also ended last season finding form, with two goals and an assist in his final three games, taking the 32-year-old to 10 and eight across 36 Premier League outings.

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Scamacca will be pushing Antonio to play at a high level, knowing his starting slot is now in threat. The 23-year-old arrives in east London fresh off scoring 16 goals through 36 Serie A games last term. His haul included efforts against AC Milan, Napoli and Inter Milan, as well.

Three defenders make up David Moyes’ six undroppable Hammers

Along with midfield stars Rice and Soucek, three defenders and one forward make up West Ham’s six undroppables against Manchester City. Leaving five spots up for grabs, including Areola’s battle with Fabianski to start in goal, plus Scamacca and Antonio’s duel at striker.

Coufal will expect to start the season at right-back, while Aaron Cresswell should remain at left-back. Moyes is keen to sign a new option to rival Cresswell. But while talkSPORT reports the Hammers are ready to pay Eintracht Frankfurt £16m for Filip Kostic, no deal is in place.

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Kurt Zouma will also start at centre-half, but a spot is available next to the Frenchman after Aguerd’s injury. Angelo Ogbonna could make his first Premier League appearance since he suffered a season-ending ACL injury in November, or Craig Dawson will remain in the unit.

The final one of West Ham’s six undroppable players ahead of hosting Manchester City will be Jarrod Bowen. The four-cap England forward – after his Three Lions debut in June – was the Irons’ top-scorer last season with 12 goals and top-creator with six assists in 36 games.

Moyes faces a selection dilemma over who starts as his central attacking midfielder and on the left-wing, should he keep to a 4-2-3-1 formation. A change in system could see Antonio start with Scamacca in a two-man attack, and allow Downes to start with Rice and Soucek.

Said Benrahma, Pablo Fornals, Nikola Vlasic and Manuel Lanzini will contend to start if the Irons stick to a 4-2-3-1. But Vlasic failed to force his way into Moyes’ squad last term after joining from CSKA Moscow for an initial £27m, while Benrahma’s future has been in doubt.

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