Saturday, December 16, 2017

Prediction: Manchester City vs West Bromwich Albion

Verdict: Both teams to score – No

Best Odds: 8/13

Bookmaker: Bet365

Manchester City lock horns with WBA in their penultimate Premier League fixture this season looking to make another step closer to securing the third place in the standings which will come as some sort of a consolation prize for Pep Guardiola and his underwhelming debut season in England.

Manchester City

It’s been a while since Pep Guardiola finished a season without a single trophy under his belt, but there is a first time for everything. The Spaniard admitted he did not expect Premier League to be this difficult as he concludes his first year in English top flight with the top-four pressure on his shoulders. The Citizens currently sit in fourth but with a game in hand on Liverpool and will be extremely motivated to leapfrog the Reds and claim the third spot in the standings with only one match to go before the curtain drops. When you draw the final line, it is fair to say this was a season of mixed fortunes for Guardiola and his Citizens, who paid the price for defensive problems in the end. Their lack of activity during the market to boost the squad by a world-class centre-back came back to haunt them and deny their fantastic exploits upfront. The emergence of Gabriel Jesus is the biggest positive and Guardiola will be glad to head into the new season knowing his side is boosting one of the most exciting attacking talents around. The Brazilian got on the scoresheet at the weekend with a penalty goal against Leicester City. The 20-year-old starlet has nine goals to his name in all competitions and there will be plenty of more to come from him next year, without a doubt.

Team News

Pep Guardiola will not have too big of a selection headache ahead of the match against WBA.

The Citizens are without Claudio Bravo, who is out through his calf injury, whereas Ilkay Gundogan remains the long-term absentee with his knee problem.

West Brom

Tony Pulis continues to drive WBA forward with his fantastic operating skills which made him a magical worker at teams with limited budgets. The Baggies have gone through a bid of a dry spell over the past ten Premier League games – winning only one of the entire lot – but Pulis’s men have not only avoided relegation, but they also emerged as one of the most stabile and consistent Premier League members. The Baggies have not be too great on the winning side of things as they managed only 12 triumphs throughout the season, but Pulis’ men have often avoided defeat and have become a force to be reckoned with. On the other side, the lack of firepower is something Pulis is sure to deal with during summer. Only 41 goals scored in the Premier League in not the record to brag about, but one established striker can easily help the Baggies turn it up a notch, so fans are feeling rather optimistic about their chances next year. Currently sitting in eighth place in the standings, WBA have nearly missed out the European place and will be hoping to join the race with Premier League’s best next term that is for sure.

Team News

Hal Robson-Kanu has been struggling with a tight hamstring, whereas Gareth McAuley is having a thigh problem and both WBA players could miss the forthcoming clash.

Sam Field and Matt Phillips, on the other side, are the two confirmed absentees with their ankle problem and hamstring strain.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Man City lost only one of their last 10 matches
  • Citizens kept a clean sheet in only 3 of their last 11 games
  • WBA managed only 12 wins this season
  • The Baggies only scored 41 goals this entire campaign
  • Pulis’ men lost 5 of their last 6 matches

Conclusion

All aspects and every analysis point out towards a home win. The Citizens are expected to go hard from the off and that is something that should be exploited, but the bigger value could be resting in the fact WBA have been rather poor in front of goal.

Verdict: Both teams to score – No

Best Odds: 8/13

Bookmaker: Bet365

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