West Brom v Man City – The Hawthorns at 20:00 live on Sky Sports 1
Manchester City will be hoping to start their Premier League campaign with a win after a trophyless season last year. They travel to the Hawthorns to take on a Tony Pulis side who will be looking to improve on last season’s 13th place finish.
West Brom started the season dreadfully last year and looked like they would be heading back to the Championship before the former Stoke manager took over on New Year’s Day. Pulis is known for building resolute teams, especially at home and they have only lost 3 times at the Hawthorns since he took over.
The Albion have had a successful summer, winning 6 of their 7 pre-season friendlies and have kept the services of you England striker Saido Berahino. His goals were extremely important towards the end of last season and although the transfer window is open for another few weeks, all connected to the club will be hoping he stays put.
I addition to keeping Berahino, new signing Rickie Lambert, James Mclean and James Chester will also improve the squad.
Manuel Pellegrini will be under immense pressure right from the off after failing to win a trophy last term. Fans would look at last year as a disappointing one and the owners as would no doubt see it as unacceptable. They have spent fairly heavily on the services of Raheem Sterling and Fabian Delph this summer and will be looking for a return in the form of silverware. Regaining the title is a priority and an improved Champions League campaign are a must for the Citizen’s.
City were level at the top of the table at the turn of the year but a run of poor performances and results meant by the end of March they were out of the running. They did recover to win their last 6 games of the season to finish second above Arsenal and rivals Utd but more is expected this year.
Results have been mixed during pre-season, with heavy losses to Real Madrid and Stuttgart but picked up wins against Melbourne City, Torino and Roma.
This is an important game for Man City, they need to hit the ground running and with Chelsea next Sunday, 3 points on the board will boost their confidence before welcoming last years champions.
The visitors are rightfully favourites and are priced up at a very reasonable 1.70. WBA may be hard to break down at the Hawthorns but City have so have so much quality in attack that I’m confident they will find a way through on more than one occasion.
Last season’s 3-0 win over the Baggies was Man City’s 7th in a row over WBA and the 4th time on the spin they put 3 past them. I’m backing them on the Asian Handicap betting market for a little bit more value and expect them to cover the line to pick up a full win.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Man City -0.75 @ 1.86
Prices correct at time of writing.
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