Manchester City will look to continue their winning run when they travel to the Hawthorns to take on West Brom in the Premier League.
The Baggies have seen an upturn in results since Sam Allardyce has become manager, and he'll certainly be looking at the same blueprint which saw his side take a point from the Etihad earlier in the season.
Rank and Report football run us through what we should expect...
Opposition Report: West Bromwich Albion
LEAGUE POSITION: 19th
SEASON BREAKDOWN: 2W - 5D - 12L
MANAGER: Sam Allayrdce
KEY PLAYER: Matheus Pereira
As less than a month has gone by since our previous opposition report on the Baggies - we’ll keep this short and sweet. Sam Allardyce has come into the West Brom job after the club sacked Slaven Bilic. Big Sam will be told to work his magic and keep the Albion up. However, since his arrival at the club just a few days before Christmas, West Brom have taken only four points from a possible 18 - not survival form. Big Sam has instituted some changes to try and stop the bleeding. Under Bilic the Baggies typically played a back three/five. In typical Allardyce fashion, the Albion are back to a 4-4-1-1.
It seems as if Premier League experience is what gets you into the side. Kieran Gibbs, Jake Livermore and Robert Snodgrass have featured heavily for Allardyce. Brazilian Matheus Pereira leads the team in the scoring charts with four goals and three assists. The crafty Brazilian is a handful for any Premier League defence. However, when your leading goal scorer has only put the ball in the net four times, you will always struggle to put together consistent runs of form.
The West Brom Threat
The aforementioned Pereira is the likely candidate for the Baggies if they are to threaten the City goal. The 24-year-old has an eye for a pass as well as the pace and trickery to breeze past defenders in open space. With Callum Robinson as the lone striker up top, any knockdown balls that fall at the feet of Pereira will be a danger. As they have shown throughout the season, West Brom struggle to threaten the opposition defence, however English football will all know about the ability of Big Sam’s teams to pull out an unlikely result, even in the worst of circumstances.
If that result is to be pulled out it will likely come from a moment of magic from Periera, or a gritty performance by his experienced players. I fully expect a City cruise to victory but you can’t help but have that voice in your head saying that if anybody can pull a result out of nowhere, Big Sam is that man.
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