A straight forward fixture against a side at the bottom of the table awaits City on Sunday. West Brom has been far worse than the two other newly promoted sides, Hull and Stoke despite having far more footballers with prior Premiership experience than the aformentioned clubs. But West Brom in their previous Premier League lives have served as a boggy team of sorts for City: much like Wigan whom City have never beaten in Premier League play.
City’s 17 pts are the lowest the club has has at this point in the Premier League season since 2000/01. That year City was relegated under Joe Royale. If you recall two years ago, City was sitting on 18 pts and hovering near the relegation zone entering the Holiday fixtures and won three on the bounce when Joey Barton was suspended to eliviate relegation fears for a few months. For all the criticism of Stuart Pearce he was able to keep a low payrool City squad in the Premier League two consecutive seasons with arguably inferior quality to one or more of the sides that were relegated.
City should have Richard Dunne back for this match but may be without Robinho who according to club call has aggravated his injury. Dunne is the unquestioned leader of the side but even he has not been immune from mistakes during City’s recent poor run of form. However, after watching Tal Ben Haim’s display in the UEFA Cup midweek any change at the back is a welcome one.
My guess is City will be lucky to get a point out of this fixture. The current set of players seem to be going through the motions both in the league and UEFA Cup, where despite advancement City’s last two matches have been poor outings. Thus West Brom desperate for points and not without quality must sense the opportunity to get three points at home.
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