MX23RW : Tuesday, January 22 09:21:06
Oct 28, 2017 at 3pm UK at ​The Hawthorns
Attendance: 24,003
West BromWest Bromwich Albion
Man CityManchester City
Rodriguez (13'), Phillips (90')
FT(HT: 1-2)
Sane (10'), Fernandinho (15'), Sterling (65')

Preview: West Bromwich Albion vs. Manchester City

Sports Mole previews the Premier League meeting at The Hawthorns between West Bromwich Albion and Manchester City.

West Bromwich Albion head into their encounter with Premier League leaders Manchester City having failed to win a match in any competition since August 22 - a period stretching eight matches.

City make the trip to The Hawthorns having failed to score a goal against West Brom's Black Country rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers, but Pep Guardiola's side have won their last seven fixtures in the top flight.

West Bromwich Albion

Tony Pulis barks orders during the Premier League game between West Bromwich Albion and Watford on December 3, 2016© SilverHub

West Brom are arguably only a couple of points off what they would have considered acceptable at the start of the season, but head coach Tony Pulis will acknowledge that the pressure is rising at the West Midlands outfit.

The Baggies registered seven points from their first three league matches but since the start of September, just three points have come from half-a-dozen fixtures and it has led to some calls for the club's hierarchy to make a change.

That still looks unlikely at this stage - despite a total of just 12 points being recorded from 18 top-flight games - but with home fixtures against City and Chelsea coming either side of a trip to Huddersfield Town, Pulis must find a way of ending talk that his job may be on the line.

The problem continues to be in the final third of the pitch, with Pulis witnessing his players score two goals or more on one occasion in 12 attempts and not one player scoring more than once in the league this season.

It is a sorry set of statistics for West Brom, but they still remain in 13th place in the standings and two points clear of the drop zone.

With Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Manchester United also to come in the next two months, that may change quickly but Pulis must focus on what is in front of him and that is trying to stop an all-conquering City side who have only been upstaged by West Brom's fiercest rivals.

Recent form: LDLDDL
Recent form (all competitions): DLLDDL

Manchester City

Pep Guardiola gesticulates during the Premier League game between Manchester City and Burnley on October 21, 2017© Offside

On Tuesday night, City failed to score in 120 minutes against a resolute Wolves side but rather than believing that the wheels have started to come off, opposing clubs will probably feel that any complacency in the club's talented squad has disappeared.

On the face of it, Guardiola struggled to accept that his players could not break down a team from the Championship, but the Spaniard will point to the fact that 39 goals had been scored in the club's previous 11 games in all competitions.

Each of those matches were also won, and it has left City in a position where they could potentially sit eight points clear of third by Saturday evening, or seven points clear of both Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.

Guardiola will not be looking too far ahead but even at this early stage of the season, rival teams can become intimidated with the task that they have on their hands to try to dislodge City from the summit, and every three points will leave the rest of the pack with more work to do.

All eyes with be on Sergio Aguero this weekend as the Argentine looks to become City's all-time top goalscorer, but the danger man could be Leroy Sane, who has contributed three goals and four assists in his last four Premier League matches.

The defence also continue to do their job at the Etihad Stadium, with five clean sheets being kept in the top flight since the start of September.

Recent form: WWWWWW
Recent form (all competitions): WWWWWD

Team News

Sergio Aguero celebrates opening the scoring during the Premier League game between Manchester City and Burnley on October 21, 2017© Offside

Guardiola must decide whether to hand a third start to Aguero in the space of the week, with the Argentine having played the 120 minutes on Tuesday night.

The same consideration will be given to Raheem Sterling, but Gabriel Jesus could play after being substituted in normal time against Wolves.

West Brom will be without Craig Dawson after the defender was ruled out for two months with a knee injury, while Jonny Evans is also struggling with a groin problem.

Pulis could decide to hand a recall to either James McClean or Matt Phillips, who both started the defeat at St Mary's on the bench.

West Bromwich Albion possible starting lineup:
Foster; Nyom, Hegazi, McAuley, Gibbs; Barry, Livermore, Krychowiak; McClean, Rodriguez, Rondon

Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Stones, Otamendi, Delph; Walker, Fernandinho, D.Silva, Sane; B.Silva, Sane, Jesus

Head To Head

Saturday's match will represent the 152nd time in which these two teams have played each other in a competitive contest, with City winning 68 times in comparison to 54 successes for West Brom.

However, West Brom have lost 14 of their most recent 15 matches with City, including the last 12, and you have to go all the way back to December 2008 for the last time that the Baggies beat City in a league match.

The clubs only met at The Hawthorns last month when City ran out 2-1 victors in an EFL Cup tie.

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We say: West Bromwich Albion 0-3 Manchester City

City may have failed when trying to score a goal past Wolves, but Guardiola and his players can now use the Premier League ball again so that must mean goals, right? With any complacency out of their system, this should be a one-sided contest.

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Who will win Saturday's Premier League clash between West Bromwich Albion and Manchester City?

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Jonny Evans of West Bromwich Albion in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Crystal Palace and West Bromwich Albion at Selhurst Park on October 3 , 2015
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2Manchester CityMan City23182362174556
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs23170648232551
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd23135546331344
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves239592731-432
9Leicester CityLeicester2394102929031
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2394103034-431
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2375112532-726
14Crystal Palace2364132332-922
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2356121931-1221
18Cardiff CityCardiff2354141944-2519
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2325161340-2711

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