Manchester City - West Bromwich Albion Preview: Baggies make tough trip to resurgent Citizens

Match preview of Saturday evening's Premier League clash at The Etihad Stadium between Manchester City and West Bromwich Albion.

Manchester City - West Bromwich Albion Preview: Baggies make tough trip to resurgent Citizens

West Bromwich Albion's season is currently heading for a safe, but rather dormant end to the 2015/16 Premier League campaign.

The Baggies achieved their goal in bouncing back after defeat to Norwich City at The Hawthorns, by restricting fellow relegation strugglers Sunderland to a goalless draw, last weekend.

After having played back-to-back games versus two basement-dwellers, Tony Pulis' men now face a run of five matches, with all but one versus top five sides. That begins with a visit to The Etihad Stadium on Saturday evening, to face Manchester City.

West Brom have form against the top sides

What on paper is a tricky schedule for West Brom, could yet prove to bare fruit. Indeed, Pulis' men have gone unbeaten against any of the current top six since a 2-0 defeat to Manchester United, back in November.

In that period, The Baggies have recorded wins versus Arsenal, a revenge defeat of The Red Devils as well as creditable draws with Liverpool, West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur on their travels.

Citizens in resurgent form

Since resuming domestic action after the international break, Manuel Pellegrini's side have found their feet once again - in no small thanks to the returning Kevin de Bruyne.

The Citizens resident Belgian import has added zest to City's last two outings, both in the league and in Europe.   

De Bruyne's first games back since January, have seen the 24 year-old find the net twice and assist once, against Bournemouth last time out during their 4-0 win at The Vitality Stadium and versus Paris Saint-Germain in midweek, respectively. 

West Brom winless versus City since 2010

The two sides have met 19 times since the inception of the Premier League. West Brom have won four times in total during that time, but have lost on 12 occasions. More critically, City have the number on their West Midlands opponents, taking 34 out of 36 points since the turn of the decade.

Yaya Toure scored twice at The Hawthorns back in August (photo:getty)
Yaya Toure scored twice at The Hawthorns back in August (photo:getty)

West Brom's last win versus the former league champions came back in the 2008 league cup, with goals from Simon Cox and Gianni Zuiverloon. The Baggies' last league point versus City was on Boxing Day of 2011.  

Last time out, when the sides met back on the opening weekend of the term, City again won out courtesy of a brace from Yaya Toure and an effort from Vincent Kompany, in a 3-0 win.

Team News

Manchester City will be without key men in David Silva and captain Vincent Kompany for the visit of West Brom.

The Spanish midfielder will rest an ankle injury ahead of City's second leg versus PSG in the Champions League on Tuesday. Kompany's injury problems continue as the Belgian misses out with a calf injury.

Yaya Toure however, may return from a knee injury.

Raheem Sterling is out until May.

West Brom still await the return of midfielders Callum McManaman and James Morrison

Of the two, McManaman is most likely to be passed fit, with Morrison's hamstring injury proving problematic.

Chris Brunt is a long-term absentee.