Preview: Manchester City vs West Brom

Sergio Aguero Fernandinho Manchester City

Manchester City will be aiming to maintain their stranglehold on the Premier League when they host a West Brom side eager to get out of the bottom three.

Premier League
1 February 2018
Gameweek 25
Kick-off: 04:00
Venue: Etihad Stadium

Referee: R. Madley
Assistants: A. Nunn, M. McDonough
Fourth official: K. Friend

Head-to-head summary:

TEAM MATCHES WIN DRAW LOSS

Manchester City 127 60 21 46
West Brom 127 46 21 60

Previous encounter:

West Brom 2-3 Manchester City 28/10/2017 (Premier League)

West Brom goalscorers: J. Rodriguez (13′), M. Phillips (90’+2)

Manchester City goalscorers: L. Sane (10′), Fernandinho (15′), R. Sterling (64′)

Players to watch:

City’s top scorer in all competitions this season, Sergio Aguero, is expected to play a crucial part for the hosts, especially with attacking players Leroy Sane and Gabriel Jesus on the sidelines. The Argentine has bagged 23 goals in 29 appearances and scored a hat-trick against Newcastle in his last league outing.

The Baggies will be hoping Jay Rodriguez continues his fine form when they travel to the Etihad Stadium. The 28-year-old scored in the 1-1 draw with Everton, his second goal in four league games, before netting a brace at Anfield as Albion beat Liverpool 3-2 in the FA Cup.

Team form and manager quotes:

Pep Guardiola’s side bounced back from their first Premier League defeat of the season, a 4-3 result at Liverpool, by beating Newcastle 3-1, before a 3-2 win over Bristol City in the Carabao Cup and a 2-0 victory against Cardiff City in the FA Cup fourth round on Sunday.

City will be eyeing their fourth win in as many games, across all competitions, as well as consolidating their 12-point lead at the top of the league standings.

Recent history would suggest that the Citizens will dominate proceedings, considering they haven’t lost against the Baggies since a League Cup game back in 2010.

City are still in contention for four titles, but have been hit with a string of injuries which could make their ambitions much harder to reach.

When asked about the situation, Guardiola told the press: “I need the players to win the four titles. We will just look to survive and go to West Brom and try to win step by step with the players we have.”

Meanwhile, WBA should be brimming with confidence after their recent successes on the pitch. After losing to West Ham on January 2, Alan Pardew’s men have won three of their last four games in all competitions.

They beat Exeter City in the FA Cup third round, earned a 2-0 win over Brighton in the league, and most recently knocked Liverpool out of the FA Cup in the fourth round with a 3-2 win at Anfield.

A win for the West Midlands outfit could see them climb out of the relegation zone and up to 15th position in the table.

Speaking after the win over the Reds, Pardew told the press: “It was a really professional, positive performance from us. We played without fear, which you have to do here. I set them up that way, because after the Swansea loss I thought Jurgen would go very strong tonight.

“We’ve been very good without actually getting the three or four goals and tonight we looked like getting three or four goals and that’s a really good sign.”

Team news:

City will be without the injured Leroy Sane, who joins Gabriel Jesus, Phil Foden, Fabian Delph, and Benjamin Mendy on the sidelines.

Kieran Gibbs, Hal Robson-Kanu, Jonny Evans, and Jake Livermore are all doubts for West Brom after picking up knocks against Liverpool.

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