West Bromwich Albion vs Manchester City Preview: Citizens facing Pulis challenge

Pep Guardiola will look to hit the ground running for his first chance of silverware with a trip to West Brom.

West Bromwich Albion vs Manchester City Preview: Citizens facing Pulis challenge
Above: Gabriel Jesus taking on West Brom during May's 3-1 victory | Photo: Getty Images/Manchester City FC

Manchester City will be looking to begin their journey for the first possible piece of silverware of the 2017/18 season, as Pep Guardiola travels to the Midlands to take on West Bromwich Albion in the third round of the Carabao Cup.

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Looking to get back on track 

Many would not have expected the start to the season that The Baggies had, remaining undefeated in their opening three league games only been denied a third successive win after a late effort from Peter Crouch secured a point for Stoke City. 

They have took a slight dip since then as they suffered a heavy 3-1 defeat at the hands of the newly-promoted Brighton & Hove Albion, and that was followed up by a goalless draw with the off-form West Ham United on Saturday. 

Tony Pulis' side have already cruised one round of the newly-christened Carabao Cup with goals from: Salomón Rondón, Matt Phillips and Jay Rodriguez gave them a 3-1 win over Accrington Stanley but will face a tough test to make it through to the fourth round. 

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Continuing their excellent start to the campaign 

The Carabao Cup will be the first opportunity for the English league clubs to lift the first piece of major silverware, and after Pep Guardiola's disappointing first season at Manchester City he will be desperate to bring in trophies as soon as possible. 

The Catalan coach started this summer spending in excess of £227million on his new-look squad, and it seems to have proven successful thus far as they sit cosy at the top of the Premier League. 

It was a bumpy start with a late draw against Everton and a last-gasp winner over Bournemouth, but since they have managed 15 goals in their last three games in all competitions. 

Their biggest result came on Saturday as: Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling, Nicolás Otamendi and a hat-trick from Sergio Agüero saw them steamroll past Watford, City were knocked out at the fourth-round stage of the competition last season by bitter rivals Manchester United and will be eager to better that this time around. 

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Team news

The big omission from Pulis' side will be England international Jake Livermore, who has been given an extended break by The Baggies. 

Livermore will return to training on Thursday after his manager stated he was mentally tired following a reduced break. Nacer Chadli (thigh) and Oliver Burke (hamstring) are doubts having missed Saturday's game, but Gareth McAuley may return from a thigh injury. 

Guardiola will have to make a decision on his goalkeeper between Ederson and Claudio Bravo, with the Brazilian still recovering from his face injury in the 5-0 win over Liverpool. 

Skipper Vincent Kompany will be assessed ahead of the clash after returning to training from his calf injury, İlkay Gündoğan can step up his return from his long-term knee injury but the jury is out on whether or not Yaya Touré will get his first start of the campaign.