West Brom v Man City
7 November 2010
The Baggies will be looking to bounce back straight away after their defeat to Blackpool on Monday night. If you asked most fans who they would like to face following a defeat they would probably say Manchester City, after all Albion have an excellent home record against them having won five of the last six games at home including the league cup earlier this season when both clubs fielded much weakened teams. However, City will still go into the game as favourites as they are the team that lies in fourth place and who have an expensively assembled squad that the Albion faithful can only dream of.
Roberto Mancini will be desperate to see his team get back to winning ways having lost their last three games and numerous stories coming out of the camp of disharmony and players not wanting to play for the manager. By contrast the Baggies are a team full of spirit with each player wanting to give their all for their team mates, management staff and the fans which was ably demonstrated by their performance when down to nine men against Blackpool, a game they so nearly came from two down to draw.
The Man City team would do well to take on Board the team spirit that the Baggies have displayed this season if they don't they could well find themselves looking back at another season of disappointment.
Roberto Di Matteo's Thoughts:
'City have to win and we would like to win - that's the situation.
'Yes they have a shot at the title, absolutely.
'Every team is going to lose a game or two during a long season.
'You look at their squad and the players they have in the squad - it's quite impressive in my opinion.
'They are the favourites and we would just like to continue playing the way we've been playing, be competitive and try to do our best in every game.
'That's our ambition.
'We've been playing with confidence for a while now.
'I don't think when you have a team filled with so many quality players that can individually win a game - and City have a number of players who can win a game - you can say there is a good time to play them.
'I don't read into that at all.
'Tomorrow they are going to be firing on all cylinders.
'That's what I'm expecting - they will be a wounded animal.
'But I've been pleased with the way we've approached every game since the opening game.
West Bromwich Albion Team News:
The Baggies will be missing Gonzalo Jara who stupidly got himself sent off against Blackpool but Pablo Ibanez will be able to play after his red card in that game was overturned which is a good job as Jonas Olsson will be missing for around six ways after sustaining an ankle injury. James Morrison is again doubtful with aa knee injury and his place could be filled again by Simon Cox who was unfortunate to be brought off in Monday night's game or Graham Dorrans could fill the role after an impressive performance against the seasiders.
Peter Odemwingie could make a return after recovering from his knee injury.
West Brom Squad: Carson, Ibanez, Morrison, Barnes, Bednar, Brunt, Reid, Myhill, Fortune, Dorrans, Shorey, Thomas, Mulumbu, Zuiverloon, Meite, Odemwingie, Fortune, Tchoyi, Scharner, Thomas, Tamas, Cox, Downing, Sawyers, Allsopp, Kiely.
Player to watch: Jerome Thomas
Jerome Thomas has been excellent for the Baggies this season and he has caused countless problems for every full back he has come up against. Should Thomas be on form then the Baggies could well find that they are the winning team again.
Manchester City Team News:
The Toure brothers could well feature having both missed the game in Poland and the big news for Man City is that Carlos Tevez looks likely to start.
Player to watch: Carlos Tevez
Carlos Tevez has been missed by Man City following his return to Argentina to deal with his homesickness and Man City just do not look the same team without him.
Match Facts & Stats
Chris Brunt makes his 100th League appearance for the Baggies this season, let's hope it is a memorable one.
Lee Probert is today's ref and he has already managed to rile the Baggies this season having sent off James Morrison against Liverpool and failing to award a couple of penalties in that game.
Away to West Ham on 10 November 2010.