West Ham United's Coufal excited by City visit on opening weekend

West Ham United's Vladimir Coufal

West Ham United's Vladimir Coufal during a pre-season friendly ahead of the 2022-23 campaign - Credit: PA

West Ham United's Vladimir Coufal is excited to start the new Premier League season against Manchester City this weekend.

David Moyes' men welcome the defending champions to London Stadium on Sunday (4.30pm), having completed their pre-season campaign with a goalless draw against RC Lens last weekend.

And Czech international Coufal says he cannot wait to start his third season at the club.

"It's a good start of the season, almost the best team in the world," he told whufc.com.

"We will see how good we are in the start of the new season.

"Of course I'm excited! I'm always excited to play Premier League games, especially at London Stadium in front of our fans.

"I'm expecting a really good atmosphere and hopefully our fans will be our 12th player."

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Coufal underwent corrective hernia surgery in February but declared himself fit and ready for competitive action after another good work out in France.

"I feel perfect now," he added.

"I did a lot of work in pre-season. We had a really tough pre-season and we are still a little bit leggy, so hopefully we will take a good rest now and we will be ready for the Man City game."

Jarrod Bowen's first-half brace put West Ham on top against City in the corresponding fixture towards the end of last season, but Pep Guardiola's men hit back to level - with Coufal heading into his own net - before a late Riyah Mahrez penalty was saved by Lukasz Fabianski.

And although last Saturday's clash in front of a 38,000 capacity crowd at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis did not produce any goals, Coufal felt there were plenty of positives to take from it.

"They looked really good and really sharp on the ball and without the ball their pressing was really unpleasant," he said of RC Lens.

"Last week they beat Inter Milan, so they're a good team and were a good test for us.

"They were a different sort of opponent to the Premier League, so alive and so sharp, so we needed to get used to it and I think after 15 or 20 minutes we did it and we took control of the game.

"The second half was not how we wanted, but I would say much better. We hit the bar, but they did as well, so hopefully we are ready for Sunday."

Coufal spent time as a right-back and right wing-back during the contest, as Moyes changed his tactics on a warm evening in northern France.

But the 29-year-old was happy with both, adding: "It doesn't matter which position I play. Wing-back is more attacking but also I have some work to do in defence.

"It's not a big difference for me because I'm trying to play very offensive also from full-back.

"It's maybe a bit less difficult because at wing-back you are still 1v1 for the whole 90 minutes against one player. It's up to the manager how we will play."