West Bromwich Albion vs Manchester City Preview: Baggies seek first win since August against leaders

The Premier League leaders travel to The Hawthorns on Saturday afternoon to face West Bromwich Albion, with Kun Aguero on the hunt for a club record

West Bromwich Albion vs Manchester City Preview: Baggies seek first win since August against leaders
Photo: Clive Mason / Getty Images

West Bromwich Albion will go in search of their first win since August as Premier League leaders Manchester City roll up to The Hawthorns on Saturday afternoon.

The Baggies are without a win since their 1-0 win at Burnley on the second weekend of the campaign, when Tony Pulis' side had won back-to-back league games.

They face a City side who came through a thorough examination in the Carabao Cup fourth round at the hands of Championship table-toppers Wolverhampton Wanderers, who took the Citizens to penalties but valiantly lost.

 

Baggies seek elusive win

August 19 was the last time West Brom took full spoils from a league game, and taking even a single point to add to their tally has been a thorny issue for Pulis' men.

Since then, West Brom have taken just four points - all draws - up to now. Their task to take another will be a stern one as City arrive unbeaten this term in all competitions, bursting with a plethora of attacking options across the park.

The hosts' reputation as a notoriously stubborn defensive unit has taken damage in recent weeks, with the Baggies having failed to keep a clean sheet in over a month.

That statistic was set to be put to bed last week at Southampton, before Sofiane Boufal's majestic and mazy run created a moment of magic from a game involving two of this season's most staunch defences, that up until that point had proved a largely forgettable encounter.

 

Can Agüero break City's scoring record?

Pep Guardiola's men roll into the West Midlands still perspiring after their mid-week exertions versus Wolves.

The likes of Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling and Sergio Agüero played the full 90 minutes - and in some cases longer - and despite being favourites to come out on top this weekend, fatigue may be a factor against their opponents.

There is still of course enough talent within City's brimming squad to cope with the quick turnaround for the visitors, with Leroy Sané adding a seventh goal of the campaign last week, to name but one individual capable of carrying tired legs on Saturday.

There may be questions over whether Agüero does indeed start, despite the Argentine levelling Eric Brook's club goal-scoring record for City against the Clarets, with the 29 year-old just one away from standing alone in City folklore.

Citizens dominant in this fixture since 2008

The two sides have met in the top-flight on 22 occasions. Despite City having won all of the last 11 meetings in the league, West Brom do boast a trio of wins at The Hawthorns.

The hosts are winless however in this fixture in almost nine years, their last victory coming in December 2008.

When they last met last month in the League Cup, a Sané brace saw Guardiola's men home, but had to hold off a spirited showing from West Brom in a thrilling second half display.

In the Premier League they last met in the West Midlands almost a year ago to the day, when doubles from Agüero and Ilkay Gündogan crushed the home side 4-0.

 

Team news

West Brom received a major blow this week, following the news defender Craig Dawson has been ruled out until Christmas with a knee injury. Allan Nyom is set to step into his place at right-back.

The Baggies are also sweating on the fitness of a host of first-team regulars. Midfielders Oliver Burke and Gareth Barry will be assessed late on with hamstring and back complaints respectively, whilst skipper Jonny Evans is a doubt with a groin injury.

Striker Hal Robson-Kanu is also facing a battle to be fit with a muscle problem, but James Morrison is definitely out.

As documented, City could rotate their squad after Wednesday night. Gündogan is further worry with a cramp and is a slight doubt.

Benjamin Mendy is a long-term absentee with an ACL knee injury, while defensive partner and captain Vincent Kompany is not expected back until after the international break in November due to a calf muscle strain.