Roberto Mancini will be hoping some of his very well paid stars will justify their worth as City take on West Brom at The Hawthorns on Sunday
Defeats to Arsenal and Wolves have dented City’s title aspirations, while the 3-1 loss in Poland on Thursday leaves the blues needing four points from their remaining two games to qualify for the knock out stage.
Earlier in the week, Mancini was forced to defend more rumours of dressing room unrest and Thursday’s display will not have done much to convince the doubters that he is in control of the dressing room.
West Brom have enjoyed a decent run and have lost just three games in all competitions this season, including knocking the blues out of the League Cup in September. Monday’s 2-1 defeat at Blackpool is The Baggies only defeat in nine games and that run has sent the Black Country side into 8th in the league. Victory on Sunday will see them replace City in 4th.
The Baggies have won their last three home league games against the blues and are yet to be beaten at home this season. In fact, it is eleven months sine The Baggies last home at home, 3-1 by Nottingham Forest, while City have won twice on their travels this season, at Wigan and Blackpool.
City could welcome back striker Carlos Tevez, who missed Thursday’s defeat with a thigh injury. Dedryk Boyata misses the game through suspension. Aleksander Kolarov, who on Thursday made his first appearance since the opening day of the season, could be handed a start.
West Brom had Gonzalo Jara sent off at Blackpool and he serves the first of a three match suspension, but Pablo Ibanez, who was also dismissed at Bloomfield Road, had his red card overturned and is available.
West Brom (from): Carson, Zuiverloon, Tamas, Olsson, Shorey, Brunt, Scharner, Mulumbu, Morrison, Thomas, Fortune, Myhill, Pablo, Tchoyi, Reid, Dorrans, Bednar, Cox.
City (from): Hart, Richards, K Toure, Kompany, Boateng, Milner, Barry, De Jong, Silva, Adebayor, Balotelli, Given, Lescott, Kolarov, Zabaleta, Vieira, Johnson, Jo.
League form (Last 5)
West Brom: WDDWL
Prediction: WBA 1-3 City
Despite the pressure on Mancini and the whole team, I think the blues will turn on the style.
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