At the start of the season absolutely nobody would have predicted that just one point would separate these two outfits following the opening seven games. However, that’s exactly the case as we approach this game, with West Brom’s superb start to the campaign correlating with City’s indifferent one.
After losing Roy Hodgson to England during the summer, there were doubts if West Brom could continue to experience the success that Hodgson had masterminded throughout his tenure. It would be fair to say that there were even more concerns when Steve Clarke was appointed as even though he had forged most of his career at Chelsea, his lack of managerial experience was understandably a big worry. However, it looks as though Clarke has taken to management like a duck to water and many simply can’t believe that the Baggies currently find themselves in 6th place. They’ve amassed fourteen points from seven matches and if results go their way this weekend, they could even leap into 2nd position. Moreover, their home form is incredibly appealing ahead of this clash, with Clarke’s side winning all four of their top flight fixtures at the Hawthorns.
Considering the above, Manchester City should travel to the Midlands with plenty of caution. While Roberto Mancini’s side may be currently positioned in 3rd place, they have not looked convincing in their opening games and supporters are hoping that this international break will have finally given them the necessary kick to get their season into shape. However, despite the pessimism, City at least approach this clash on the back of two straight victories, with the latest being a comfortable 3-0 win over Sunderland. They have looked a little shaky on the road though, winning just one of their three Premiership games away from the Etihad Stadium.
West Brom have been sweating on the fitness of a couple of players ahead of this clash, after Romelu Lukaku missed his game for Belgium during the week while Youssouf Mulumbu picked up a knock. However, Lukaku should pull through, while Steve Clarke is also hopeful on the latter. Manchester City on the other hand have also been hit by the international break with David Silva and Jack Rodwell both absent after picking up knocks over the past week. Elsewhere, new signings Maicon and Javi Garcia remain on the treatment table and will not be considered for selection.
It can be safely said that the reputations of both of these clubs vary considerably. However, even though West Brom hold a significantly lower reputation on paper, the fact their home form is so solid gives them a fighting chance of netting a result in this game. With Mancini’s men also struggling on the road, our tip will be a 1-1 score line.