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West Brom vs Manchester City Preview | Team News, Key Men and Stats

West Brom host Manchester City in what could prove to be a crunch game for one of the league’s title chasing sides. City have enjoyed a good couple of weeks at the Etihad – thrashing Spurs 6-0 and Swansea 3-0 with consummate ease. However, they have fared much worse away from home and this is what makes this fixture so important – can the sky blues finally shake off this away form? In six away league games this season, Manchester City have won just one game – away to West Ham United – and have, staggeringly, lost four. With home form proving unbeatable, a repair job on the away form is Pellegrini’s next objective. West Brom suffered a shaky start at the Hawthorns this season, losing their first two home games to Southampton and Swansea City. However, that stutter has been put aside and the Baggies are now four games unbeaten at home, including a creditable draw against league leaders Arsenal. Steve Clarke’s side will be desperate to bounce back after their narrow 2-1 to Newcastle United whereas the Mancunians will be looking to extend their winning streak to three games after the aforementioned thrashings at the Etihad.

 West Brom Vs Manchester City

Team News

Steve Clarke will have to set up the West Brom midfield without the powerful Youssouf Mulumbu after the DR Congo international picked up his fifth booking of the season in the defeat to Newcastle United. Full back Billy Jones is back to full fitness after he came through the St.James’ Park clash unharmed after a comeback from his hamstring injury sustained against Crystal Palace in November. Nicolas Anelka could miss out again with a niggling and persistent groin problem which is keeping him out of the squad. Great news for Baggies fans is that Zoltan Gera came through his cameo appearance against Newcastle unscathed after ten months out with knee and hamstring injuries. He should be available to gain some more minutes and build his match fitness further. West Brom’s injury list still includes the long term absentees of Ben Foster (foot) and George Thorne (ACL). The return date of winger Scott Sinclair is also still a mystery with the Englishman nursing a hamstring injury of his own.

Wednesday’s game also see’s the return of Vincent Kompany as he has been announced as a part of the squad. Both Silva and Jovetic will miss out for at least two more games as they look to get over their calf muscle injuries in time for the busy festive period. Nastasic is slightly more long term and could be out for three weeks – meaning Joleon Lescott should continue to deputise.

Interesting Facts

Saido Berahino has started just two league games this season but the youngster creates a clear cut chance at a faster rate than Sergio Aguero – Berahino creates a clear cut chance for his team mates every 165 minutes compared to Aguero creating a clear cut chance every 229.3 minutes. This probably means little to Aguero though, who remains the league’s top goalscorer after becoming the first player to ten goals this season when he netted against Tottenham Hotspur in the 6-0 drubbing at the Etihad. West Brom have drawn the joint most games this season with Everton – six in total. In comparison, City have drawn just one game, suggesting they’re a very interesting side to watch with plenty of goals on offer for both teams – especially when City play away from home (3-2 losses to both Cardiff City and Aston Villa back this up).

Key Players

Shane Long could have a really positive impact on West Brom’s season if he continues his form from the Aston Villa game through this busy month. The Republic of Ireland international scored two goals of real quality in that game and the pacey forward will be West Brom’s best option again with his hard working nature surely key to the Baggies gaining any kind of result. Long will harass and rush the City defenders which should slow them down whilst they build their attacks from the back. Long will also be useful to West Brom in a counter attacking sense, his pace will be key to stretching the Manchester City back line – especially after periods of sustained pressure when he’ll have to work the channels and try to run in behind to relieve any tired defenders.

Sergio Aguero has been in scintillating form for City this season and it’s hard to look beyond the Argentinian when it comes to picking out a star man for the Citizens. His balance, hard working nature and goal scoring feats make him one of the best players in the league – and indeed, the world. Aguero has started eleven of City’s thirteen games this season and has rewarded his manager with eleven league goals to justify his consistent starting. Aguero also has four assists to his name, making him one of the most creative players in the league.


Despite Manchester City’s unimpressive away form I’m going to have to be a coward and go for a Mancunian win. If Manchester City want to be a real title contender then they have to start winning away from home and I think this is when it is going to start. West Brom are a decent side but mid-table sides need to be scythed down if a team wants to win the title. Aguero should be integral but so should Navas and Negredo. Negredo has been in great form recently and has netted eight goals in his last seven which leads me to conclude that Manchester City’s strike force will be far too powerful for West Brom’s defence.

Manchester City – 2-1

Zak Forster
Zak Forsterhttps://twitter.com/ZakForster_AI
| Liverpool fan living in Manchester - imagine | Follow me on Twitter for views and opinions on all things football - @ZakForster_AI |
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