Relegation-threatened West Bromwich Albion face a tough trip to Manchester City in the Premier League on Tuesday night.
Although Pep Guardiola’s side have not been formidable this season in comparison to previous campaigns under his tenure, they will still pose a significant threat to Slaven Bilic’s Baggies.
City could only hash out a tame goalless draw away at bitter rivals Manchester United at the weekend, with the 0-0 scoreline at Old Trafford the first Manchester Derby to draw a blank in five years.
Creativity has been City’s issue, something which is surprising to say considering the blueprint of Guardiola’s Blues so far down the years.
The lacklustre beginning to the season for Man City means they are ninth in the standings and four points off the Champions League places heading in to this one.
West Brom meanwhile always knew they had a battle on their hands after being promoted from the Championship last season, with the Baggies second-from-bottom and 3 points from safety – although Burnley, the 17th placed side, do have a game in hand.
Albion will be disappointed with their loss to Newcastle United at the weekend, with Toon goals at both the start and the end of the game condemning them to their eighth loss of the season.
Conceding goals has been a major problem for the Baggies, with the 25 they have shipped the highest of any Premier League club so far this term.
Furthermore, West Brom’s only victory of the campaign to date was against rock-bottom Sheffield United, so any hope of victory over Manchester City is slim.
Slaven Bilic is without suspended midfielder and key performer Matheus Pereira for the trip to the Etihad, but more positive news is that Charlie Austin and Kieran Gibbs are both pushing for inclusion from the start.
Man City are likely to once again be missing Sergio Aguero, who sat out of the Manchester Derby at the weekend – the striker has had a flare up of a knee meniscus issue which required surgery in the summer – add to that a recent bout of illness and the Argentine is almost certain to miss out.
Eric Garcia is another absentee due to a muscle strain, but Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva are likely to see some game time against the Baggies after Guardiola opted not to use them against United.
Manchester City v West Brom is an 8pm kick off on Tuesday 15th December.