West Ham United’s newest signing Pablo Zabaleta is relishing the chance to face his former team in Iceland.
The Hammers announced yesterday that they would be facing Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City on Friday 4th August in Reykjavik to conclude their pre-season preparations.
The fixture will be the first time that two Premier League teams have ever faced each other in Iceland and Zabaleta is relishing the chance to face his former employees.
Speaking to the West Ham website he said: “Of course it will be interesting to face my former club, so soon after leaving.
“But more importantly, I am looking forward to playing with my new team-mates, and it will be a great test for us one week before the start of the season.
“It will also be a great honour for West Ham and City to be the first English Premier League clubs to play each other in Iceland. We all saw how well Iceland did in the European Championships last year – they made a lot of friends and it is clear they are a nation who love football.
“We will be proud to represent the Premier League, and I hope we can give the supporters an entertaining match.”
Zabaleta will meet up with his new team-mates when Slaven Bilic’s squad return for pre-season training on July 5th.
The Argentine joined the Hammers on a free transfer last month after leaving Manchester City at the end of the season, and the 32-year-old is looking forward to the start of the new campaign.
He said: “I am already looking forward to getting started for next season, and our pre-season schedule will give me a good opportunity to get to know everyone.
“It is about hard work and preparation, but also building the spirit and unity for next season.”
Slaven Bilic’s men kick off their Premier League season with a trip to Manchester United, before the Hammers face Southampton and Newcastle United in their first three fixtures of the campaign.