Manchester City vs West Bromwich Albion Preview: Leaders looking to burst buoyant Baggies' bubble

Match preview of the Premier League clash between Manchester City and West Bromwich Albion at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night

Manchester City vs West Bromwich Albion Preview: Leaders looking to burst buoyant Baggies' bubble
Photo: Nigel Roddis / Getty Images

Premier League leaders Manchester City will look to put a spanner in the works of West Bromwich Albion's current revival as the Baggies make the trip to the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday evening.

Alan Pardew's men are unbeaten in the last four games in all competitions - having won three times - as the visitors roll into Manchester to face the champions elect.

The Citizens themselves have seemingly righted the ship after their loss to Liverpool at Anfield a few weeks ago, with back-to-back wins under their belt - having booked their place in the League Cup final and FA Cup Fifth Round respectively - but may be put to the test against a resurgent West Brom side. 

Return to dominance

After the loss to Jürgen Klopp's men, City have won three on the bounce - one each in separate competitions - having put the wheels back on the tracks in the past fortnight. 

The latest win for Pep Guardiola's side came in their FA Cup Fourth Round victory in the principality in Wales last Sunday, overcoming a resistant Cardiff City outfit.

Having lost Leroy Sané for approximately six weeks with ankle ligament damage however, City's limits could now be stretched with the conclusion of the Carabao Cup and the resumption of the UEFA Champions League both within the next month.

 

Baggies' attacking verve returns

After a tricky period of adaptation in the West Midlands, Pardew has begun to put his own mark on his era at the Hawthorns in recent weeks.

Having ended their arduous wait for a league win that stretched back to August, West Brom's cup win against Exeter City earlier this month was the springboard in beating Brighton & Hove Albion, taking a point from Goodison Park versus Everton and knocking out Liverpool last weekend in what could become an FA Cup odyssey for the visitors this season. 

Hammering out the West Midlanders' defensive ways under former steward Tony Pulis was always set to take time, but with the current form of Jay Rodriguez up front, coupled with the addition of Daniel Sturridge on loan, West Brom are looking a side with a greater attacking verve.

 

Hosts' imposing record

The two sides have met 23 times in the Premier League. City boast a dominant record - to say the least - against their midweek opponents, having won their last 12 league meetings.

West Brom last took a point against the Citizens back on Boxing Day on 2011, with the last win coming in 2008 at the Hawthorns. 

For the Baggies' last league top-flight win away from home against City we have to go back almost 15 years to the day to February 1 2003, when goals from Darren Moore and Neil Clement sealed all three points for the visitors at Maine Road. West Brom have taken a total of just two points in their all trips to the City of Manchester Stadium.

 

Team News

As documented, Sane has been ruled out until mid-March with an ankle injury, with Fabian Delph also a major doubt with a knee problem.

Phil Foden is ruled out from a possible place on the bench, whilst full-back Benjamin Mendy is a long-term absentee with an ACL knee injury.

Gabriel Jesus is again missing but could make his return at St. Jakob Park for City's Champions League first-leg tie with FC Basel in a fortnight.

The visitors are still battling off a combination of illness and injury in the camp.

Sam Field and Gareth McAuley are both major doubts with the flu, whilst the quartet of Jonny Evans - who could be the subject of late transfer window activity - Hal Robson-Kanu, Kieran Gibbs and Jake Livermore will all be assessed with respective hamstring problems.

The midfield duo of Nacer Chadli and James Morrison are both ruled out until late February.