Man City v West Brom preview
City hurting from Euro exit while time running out for Baggies
By Ben Collins. Last Updated: 19/04/09 2:46pm
Elano: Impressive in midweek
Manchester City will aim to put their Uefa Cup disappointment behind them as they host relegation-threatened West Brom on Sunday.
City beat Hamburg 2-1 on Thursday on a rousing evening at Eastlands but it wasn't enough to overturn their first-leg deficit and the Blues bowed out at the quarter-final stage, 4-3 on aggregate.
Mark Hughes will be hoping the City fans can reproduce that atmosphere for Sunday's clash as his side aim to revive their hopes of securing another European adventure next season.
City's Premier League form has suffered while they have focused on their Uefa Cup campaign, losing 3-1 at home to Fulham last week to miss out on the chance to leapfrog one of their rivals for European qualification.
But now they can turn their attention back to domestic matters and will be confident of restoring their impressive home form having won their previous six league matches at Eastlands before that dismal defeat by Fulham.
West Brom have a wretched away record and although they claimed a 2-2 draw at Portsmouth last week, time is running out for them to launch an unlikely escape act.
There have been signs of improvement in recent weeks, losing just one of their last four, but the Baggies are 10 without a win and now seven points adrift with six games remaining.
Yet Tony Mowbray's men have the chance to do the double over City having boosted their survival hopes with a 2-1 win against the Blues at the Hawthorns in December.
City may be boosted by the return of winger Shaun Wright-Phillips after missing the last two games with an ankle injury.
Midfielder Nigel de Jong is available again after being ineligible for Thursday's Uefa Cup tie, although Vincent Kompany slotted into the holding role admirably in his absence.
Brazilian playmaker Elano should keep his place after an impressive performance on his return to the starting line-up against Hamburg, while Hughes is set to choose between Felipe Caicedo, Ched Evans and Danny Sturridge up front.
Abdoulaye Meite is set to continue in place of the injured Shelton Martis (groin) in the West Brom defence.
Fellow defender Gianni Zuiverloon has recovered from a minor problem that forced him off late on at Portsmouth while striker Roman Bednar (hamstring) is hoping to be fit enough for consideration.
Possible starting XIs
Man City: Given, Richards, Onuoha, Dunne, Bridge, Zabaleta, Kompany, Ireland, Elano, Robinho, Caicedo.
West Brom: Carson, Zuiverloon, Meite, Olsson, Robinson, Morrison, Greening, Koren, Dorrans, Brunt, Fortune.
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