Manchester City v West Bromwich Albion - Match Preview, Stats & Team News

City Of Manchester Stadium

To be played on Monday 21st April 2014 at 20:00. Venue: Etihad Stadium, Manchester.

Odds: Manchester City 2/9, Draw 13/2, West Bromwich Albion 14/1

Last season: 1-0

Preview & injury news

It hasn't been the best week for Manchester City as they have gone from title favourites to the outsiders to be crowned champions following a 3-2 defeat to title rivals Liverpool at Anfield, and a 2-2 draw against Sunderland at the Etihad Stadium means they trail Liverpool by six points having played only the one game less, but it isn't over just yet. Prior to their trip to Anfield, City were on a run of five wins from six games, and manager Manuel Pellegrini said the reason behind the draw with Sunderland was perhaps that they didn't get the defeat against Liverpool out of their system.

For Pepe Mel, if his side are relegated by a slim margin this season he will have a couple of home games to point to, as his side threw away a lead late on against Cardiff City and a three goal lead to Tottenham Hotspur in recent weeks.The Baggies currently sit three points above the relegation zone, having played a game less than most of their rivals, but their clash with Sunderland at the Stadium of Light could potentially be huge. In their last six games, West Brom have won two, drawn two and lost two. He will be hoping that recent bust-ups in the dressing room have brought the squad closer together in their fight to avoid relegation.

On the injury front, City are without Yaya Toure after he limped off during the defeat to Liverpool whilst there are question marks over the fitness of David Silva after he missed the draw with Sunderland because of an ankle problem and Matija Nastasic is still sidelined with a knee injury.

For West Brom, Jonas Olsson is still absent with a calf problem whilst Zoltan Gera misses out with a hamstring injury but there is a chance that James Morrison may be fit after struggling with an ankle injury.

Key stats

Here are the top scorers in the Premier League from the two teams this season:

  TeamPosGoalsAppsMins
Yaya Touré Man City MF 18 31 2,619
Sergio Agüero Man City FW 15 19 1,278
Edin Dzeko Man City FW 11 26 1,569
Morgan Amalfitano West Brom MF 4 24 1,828
Saido Berahino West Brom FW 4 27 1,044
Stéphane Sessegnon West Brom MF 4 21 1,534

Their average possession statistics:

  Possession PercentagePlayed
Manchester City 56.64 33
West Bromwich Albion 46.45 33

And the amount of clean sheets they've kept:

  Clean SheetPlayed
Manchester City 13 33
West Bromwich Albion 6 33

5 players to watch

Fernandinho - With no Yaya Toure in the middle of the park, there is a lot more pressure on the Brazilian to produce the goods. Despite his goal in midweek he couldn't help prevent Sunderland leaving the Etihad Stadium with a point. However, he has got to step up once again in Toure's absence in the middle of the park as the Baggies will look to make things difficult in the middle, and may even try to pack the midfield in order to get some control.

Claudio Yacob - Yacob will need to be on top of his game on Monday evening. The midfield battle is going to be a tough one, but he gives the side a lot of presence and can break up the play well, as well as getting stuck into challenges. If there is one man who can frustrate City other than the goalkeeper, it might well be Yacob.

Sergio Aguero - Aguero made his return against Liverpool and didn't look particularly sharp, and he didn't look much better against Sunderland. Maybe it's just a case of more games may help the Argentine, because the fitter he gets the more dangerous he gets, the goals are likely to follow.

Matej Vydra - Vydra is a bit of a nuisance for opposition defences. He isn't too afraid to take on a man and has a decent eye for goal. He gave City a little trouble in the reverse fixture at The Hawthorns and took his goal well against Tottenham last week, whether he can follow that up this week is a different matter.

Vincent Kompany - Ever since he went down in training with a knee injury, Kompany hasn't looked 100% so it will be interesting to see if Pellegrini continues with his captain in the side. For as long as he feels they are in the title race, you'd think he's a nailed on starter, even if he isn't moving about freely. Is he a weakness that West Brom could potentially exploit?

Earlier on in the season

West Bromwich Albion 2-3 Manchester City, December 2013

City were struggling for good away form but managed to get a good win at The Hawthorns as they overcame West Brom but it was probably a little closer than it should have been. Sergio Aguero put the visitors in front within ten minutes as he thumped home from Pablo Zabaletta's pass. Yaya Toure doubled their advantage when he tucked away Aleksandar Kolarov's cross midway through the first half. City were made to wait until the final quarter of an hour when Toure scored from the penalty spot after Kolarov has fouled by Claudio Yacob, and it seemed as if the visitors were cruising to victory. But Matej Vydra's cross went in off City goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon, before Victor Anichebe scored for the home side in stoppage time to make the scoreline a lot closer than it perhaps should have been.

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