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Preview: Manchester City vs. West Bromwich Albion - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Premier League clash between Manchester City and West Bromwich Albion, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Manchester City will be looking to return to winning ways in the Premier League when they welcome a struggling West Bromwich Albion team to the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night.

Pep Guardiola's side, who drew 0-0 with Manchester United on Saturday, are currently ninth in the table, while West Brom remain in 19th spot as they continue to struggle for positive results.


Match preview

Manchester United's Paul Pogba in action with Manchester City's Fernandinho in the Premier League on December 12, 2020© Reuters

City comfortably eased their way into the knockout round of the Champions League as Group C winners, but it would be fair to say that the team have struggled to show their best form in the league this season, picking up just 19 points from 11 matches to sit down in ninth position in the table.

Heading into Sunday's fixtures, the gap to leaders Tottenham Hotspur was five points, but both Spurs and Liverpool will have the chance to move further clear before City take to the field for this contest.

The situation is far from terminal in terms of a challenge for the title, but City's numbers this season are far from impressive, having won five, drawn four and lost three of their 11 games, scoring 17 times and conceding 11.

Guardiola's team entered Saturday's clash with United off the back of two strong victories over Burnley and Fulham in England's top flight, but a disappointing Manchester derby finished goalless.

There is certainly pressure on the hosts to collect all three points on Tuesday ahead of a difficult game away to Southampton next weekend, and the former champions have an excellent recent record against the Baggies, winning each of the last 14 matches between the two sides in all competitions.

Conor Gallagher celebrates scoring for West Bromwich Albion against Sheffield United in the Premier League on November 28, 2020© Reuters

West Brom, meanwhile, will enter Tuesday's clash in Manchester off the back of a 2-1 defeat at Newcastle United on Saturday afternoon. The Baggies recovered from an early setback to level the scores in the second period, but Dwight Gayle came up with an 82nd-minute winner for Steve Bruce's side.

Only Sheffield United - bottom with one point from 12 matches - have a worse record than West Brom this term, with Slaven Bilic's team currently 19th, having picked up just six points from their opening 12 matches.

The Baggies have the worst defensive record in the Premier League this season, conceding 25 times, while their only win of the season was a 1-0 success over fellow strugglers Sheffield United on November 28.

A trip to the Etihad Stadium is not what Bilic would have wanted following the late loss at Newcastle, but the matches do not get any easier after this one as they prepare to welcome a dangerous Aston Villa side next weekend before travelling to champions Liverpool on December 27.

Not since December 2008 have West Brom managed to beat City in the Premier League, while they have not overcome the Manchester side away from home in England's top flight since February 2003.

Manchester City Premier League form: WDLWWD
Manchester City form (all competitions): WWDWWD

West Bromwich Albion Premier League form: LLLWLL


Team News

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero celebrates scoring against Marseille in the Champions League on December 9, 2020© Reuters

City will again be without the services of Eric Garcia due to a muscular problem, while Sergio Aguero is a huge doubt, having missed Saturday's Manchester derby through illness.

Guardiola is expected to make a couple of changes from the side that started at Old Trafford, with Ilkay Gundogan and Ferran Torres potentially replacing Fernandinho and Riyad Mahrez.

The City manager is likely to resist the temptation to rest any member of his back four, though, while Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus should all retain their positions.

As a result, there could be more frustration for the likes of Bernardo Silva and Phil Foden, who were not used during Saturday's goalless draw with United.

West Brom will again be without the services of Conor Townsend and Hal Robson-Kanu through injury, while Sam Field remains a doubt due to a recent injury and positive coronavirus test.

Key attacker Matheus Pereira is still suspended, but the Baggies did not pick up any fresh concerns against Newcastle and Bilic therefore has a number of decisions to make.

Charlie Austin and Kieran Gibbs were half-time substitutes against the Magpies and could now come into contention, while Grady Diangana is pushing for a spot in a wide area.

Karlan Grant should earn another start in the final third of the field, though, despite the fact that the 22-year-old has only managed one Premier League goal since arriving at the club from Huddersfield Town.

Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Walker, Stones, Dias, Cancelo; Rodri, Gundogan; Sterling, De Bruyne, Torres; Gabriel Jesus

West Bromwich Albion possible starting lineup:
Johnstone; Ajayi, Ivanovic, O'Shea; Furlong, Gallagher, Sawyers, Krovinovic, Diangana; Robinson, Grant


SM words green background

We say: Manchester City 2-0 West Bromwich Albion

City have not been at their best in the league this season, but it is very difficult to back anything other than a routine home win on Tuesday night. These are not the type of games that will keep West Brom in the league this season, and we are tipping a comfortable 2-0 success for Guardiola's side.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data



Video prediction

Watch the Sports Mole Football Shorts prediction for this game below:


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Manchester City's Sergio Aguero celebrates scoring against Marseille in the Champions League on December 9, 2020
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