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West Brom v City: Guardiola preview part one

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Pep Guardiola says he expects his side to have to deal with long, direct balls when they face West Brom on Saturday.

The City boss has watched Tony Pulis’ side closely in recent weeks and expects a difficult afternoon against a well-drilled outfit.

Pulis signed a new one-year contract extension at the Hawthorns on Friday - a fitting reward for the improvement shown by West Brom since his appointment in January 2015.

Guardiola is well aware of his record and is under no illusions about tough the game will be.

“First of all, I hear he has renewed his contract, so congratulations for Tony,” Guardiola said. “It’s long ball, it’s physical. I saw their game against Tottenham, against Liverpool, and I realised how tough it will be tomorrow.

“I spoke with my players. I spoke with Mikel [Arteta], with Rodolfo [Borrell] and they informed me they’re a special, special team.

“He made a huge job at Stoke City, where it was almost impossible to win there. It will be tough. They will be high pressing. After that, they recover the ball. They defend low. They are very compact, with very good movement.

“They are very strong on set-pieces. They use his style marvellously, perfectly. We have to adapt in that way. When we have the ball, they are going to adapt to us.

Meanwhile, Guardiola says he is enjoying life in England.

City haven’t won in six but remain top of the Premier League table and are well-placed to qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League. 

Guardiola admits the last few weeks have been tough – but says he is happy with his new life and feels his family have settled since arriving in the summer.

The last period I’m not happy as before because we don’t win but our lives don’t depend on the results,” he said. “A little bit how you live day by day because you have more worry about what you have to do to improve the team. But in general my kids are so happy in school, my wife as well. I work pretty good I feel l the people try to care of me. I’m so happy.