Competition: Premier League – Manchester City vs West Bromwich Albion
Venue: Etihad Stadium – Saturday, March 21 – 12:45 GMT (08:45 ET)
Match Odds: Manchester City 2/7 – Draw 9/2 – West Brom 9/1
Man City’s hopes of retaining their title are rapidly fading after they were dealt another major blow by losing 1-0 to Burnley at Turf Moor last Saturday and are now six points behind leaders Chelsea who also have a game in hand.
West Brom returned to winning ways with a 1-0 win at home to Stoke last weekend thanks to a goal from in-form striker Brown Ideye and they look set to comfortably secure their Premier League status for the sixth consecutive season.
Manuel Pellegrini needs to make sure his City side don’t suffer a hangover from their midweek defeat to Barcelona at the Nou Camp which saw them eliminated from the Champions League and has made their preparation time for this game very short.
The Citizens have recorded just three wins in their last nine games (D3, L3) which has seen them drop way off the pace at the top of the table and also allowed the chasing pack to get within touching distance.
Failure to win for City could potentially see them slip down to third place in the league and a defeat may also see them fall as far as fourth depending on Arsenal and Manchester United’s results, so it’s imperative they get a victory, not only for their title hopes but also for the Champions League qualification fight.Embed from Getty Images
Tony Pulis‘ West Brom side have only lost two of their last ten in the league (W4, D4), so they certainly pose a threat and may smell blood after City’s inconsistent recent form.
Having said that, two wins from 14 on the road this season doesn’t make for pretty reading for the Baggies and their last win away at Man City was a 2-1 success back in February 2003.
West Brom are eight points above the drop zone with nine games remaining, so two or three more wins would almost guarantee their safety.Embed from Getty Images
The reverse fixture at The Hawthorns on Boxing Day ended in a 3-1 win for Man City who will be desperately hoping for a repeat result.
Man City have no known injuries or suspensions to report and will hope that the likes of Yaya Toure, David Silva and Sergio Aguero can find their form.
West Brom will be without goalkeeper Ben Foster after he picked up a knee injury in the game against Stoke. Chris Brunt and Claudio Yacob will also miss the game through suspension. Victor Anichebe could return to the squad following a groin injury, while Brown Ideye will hope to recover from a knock he picked up last weekend. Callum McManaman is suffering with a foot injury and is a doubt.
Manchester City’s last five in the Premier League: W/W/L/W/L
West Brom’s last five in the Premier League: W/D/W/L/W
Key Stat: West Brom have never won at the Etihad Stadium (P7, D2, L5).
Key Player: David Silva – The Spanish midfield maestro is instrumental and if opponents stifle him, then City tend to struggle. If Silva can find time and space to pull the strings then Man City will be confident of victory.Embed from Getty Images
Manchester City 1-0 West Bromwich Albion – City know they aren’t performing to the best of their ability at the moment and they will need to grind out a result against a well organised West Brom side.