Competition: Premier League – West Bromwich Albion vs. Manchester City
Venue: The Hawthorns – Monday, August 10 – 20:00 BST (15:00 ET)
Match Odds: West Bromwich Albion 9/2 – Draw 14/5 – Manchester City 8/13
The opening Monday Night Football of the season sees Manchester City travel to the Hawthorns to take on Tony Pulis’ West Bromwich Albion.
West Brom come into the game off the back of five wins on the trot in preseason and look very organised defensively.
The Baggies will be looking to build on last season as they became a tough side to beat at home under Pulis.
Pulis has strengthened well this summer after bringing in James McLean, James Chester and Rickie Lambert and all three will be hoping to make their debuts here.
The future of young Saido Berahino is still up in the air, and with other first team strikers like Brown Ideye in form in front of goal, don’t be surprised if Berahino is benched.
Man City have been relatively quiet in the window, apart from their high-profile capture of England international Raheem Sterling.
City have mainly focused on bringing in young English talent with the likes of Fabian Delph and Patrick Roberts joining the Citizens this summer.
Make no mistake, City will be challenging for the title once again this term and if star players like Yaya Toure return to peak form, they are serious contenders to dethrone Chelsea.
Starting with three points will be the target this weekend but a trip to West Brom represents a tricky early test for Manuel Pellegrini’s side.
West Brom are still missing Ben Foster so Boaz Myhill should deputise for the England ‘keeper. Gareth MCauley is a doubt with a calf/shin injury. Rickie Lambert could make his first start for the club in attack.
Manchester City may be without David Silva, Samir Nasri and Sergio Aguero through illness but they are expected to shake it off to feature. Yaya Toure picked up a knock to the head playing Real Madrid so is a doubt. Fabian Delph and Gael Clichy are both out. Raheem Sterling is expected to start.
West Brom’s preseason form: L/L/W/W/W/W/W
Manchester City’s preseason form: W/D/L/W/L
Key Stat: Manchester City have won their last seven matches against West Brom in the Premier League.
Key Player: Raheem Sterling – £49 million can get you a lot, but Sterling could be worth that fee come the end of the season. His speed across ten yards could cause the Baggies some serious problems on Monday night.
West Brom 1-1 Manchester City – We’re expecting West Brom to be hard to beat this season but Manchester City are still a superpower in the Premier League and should be beating everyone. That said, we’re expecting a score draw to ease both sides into the new season.