West Brom v Manchester City preview
Last Updated: 20/10/12 2:14pm
Roberto Mancini: Hoping City can close the gap on leaders Chelsea
Reigning Premier League champions Manchester City resume their campaign with a trip to surprise high-fliers West Brom on Saturday afternoon.
The Baggies have made a bright start to the season under new boss Steve Clarke to sit sixth in the table and level on points with Everton and Tottenham directly above them ahead of the international break.
They have also turned The Hawthorns into a fortress so far, keeping a perfect record of four wins from four in their opening home games, including meetings with Everton and Liverpool.
However, Albion will face their toughest task yet when they entertain holders City, currently third in the standings and travelling to the Midlands unbeaten in the league.
Roberto Mancini's men will have their sights set on a maximum haul from Saturday's clash after a steady start which has seen them draw three of their opening seven games.
The trip to The Hawthorns kicks off a run of seven matches in 28 days for City as they look to close the gap on leaders Chelsea, while also juggling their UEFA Champions League campaign.
However, recent history is on the Baggies' side, with Clarke's team having won three and lost just one of their last five home matches against City.
The Blues' only win in that period came two seasons ago, when Mario Balotelli scored his first Premier League goals and was then sent-off.
West Brom may be without midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu after the Congo international picked up a niggle on international duty this week and is rated as "60-40" to be fit for the match by head coach Clarke.
Striker Romelu Lukaku is expected to be available after a minor ankle problem, but Steven Reid and Chris Brunt (both hamstring), Billy Jones (knee) and Boaz Myhill (thumb) are out.
Long-term absentee Jerome Thomas is still not quite ready for his return from a knee problem.
City playmaker David Silva has been ruled out after suffering a hamstring injury on international duty with Spain but could be back next weekend.
England players Joe Hart, Joleon Lescott and James Milner returned to City later than expected after their World Cup qualifier in Poland was put back from Tuesday to Wednesday.
Despite the disruption to his preparations, Mancini has no concerns about their condition.
- West Brom have failed to score in their last four Premier League games against Manchester City.
- The Baggies have won their first four home games of a top-flight league season for the first time since 1919 (that season they won their first six).
- Manchester City have fired in more shots on target than any other team in the top flight (48).
Previous game's starting line-ups
- 13 Myhill
- 28 Jones
- 23 McAuley
- 3 Olsson J
- 6 Ridgewell
- 21 Mulumbu
- 5 Yacob
- 18 Amalfitano
- 29 Sessegnon
- 11 Brunt
- 9 Long
Team taken from West Bromwich Albion vs Cardiff City (Barclays Premier League) on Saturday 14th December 2013
- 1 Hart
- 5 Zabaleta
- 4 Kompany
- 6 Lescott
- 13 Kolarov
- 14 Garcia
- 17 Rodwell
- 15 Navas
- 21 Silva
- 7 Milner
- 10 Dzeko
Team taken from Manchester City vs Leicester City (Capital One Cup) on Tuesday 17th December 2013
Barclays Premier League
Barclays Premier League
|16||West Bromwich Albion||16||15|
|17||West Ham United||16||14|