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City v West Brom: Opposition View

Ahead of this evening's fixture, we spoke to one Baggies fan to get their thoughts on their fixture...

How are you feeling ahead of the game?

With Premier League safety assured, I think most Albion fans are at the moment starting to feel a little apathetic, there really is an end to season / nothing to play for feeling in the air. Hopefully the players are not the same way inclined…

What's your verdict on West Brom's season so far?

In terms of where we are placed, and the points the team have amassed so far, it has to be considered a successful season. We've had some excellent results - beating both Arsenal and Manchester United at The Hawthorns as well as gaining points at Chelsea, Liverpool and Leicester.

Sadly we have also witnessed a few too many poor performances - the main complaint from supporters being our defensive style of play - the number of games we have failed to register a shot on target is embarrassing to say the least. Looking ahead to next season hopefully our attacking play will see an improvement, it really needs to.

How will the Baggies line up? Who will play and in what formation?

I'd imagine Tony Pulis will line-up with a similar side to what started last time out at Sunderland with Ben Foster in goal, Dawson, McAuley, Evans and Chester across the back; Sandro, Yacob and Fletcher in central midfield and Berahino and Gardner out wide leaving our record signing Salomon Rondon up front on his own. We offered little going forward at the Stadium of Light so personally I'd like to see Stephane Sessegnon return to the line-up - he always adds a little unpredictability to our forward play, but I'd imagine he will have to make do with a place on the bench.

The Etihad hasn't been the happiest of hunting grounds for West Brom in recent seasons. Why do you think that is? 

For a number of years following Albion's first promotion into the Premier League back in 2002 we actually had a decent record against City, winning four of the first seven meetings. However, the arrival of Sheikh Mansour at the Etihad clearly took City to another level and simply put, City's quality has been far too much for us to handle in recent encounters.

City haven't won back to back league games since October, will that give WBA confidence?

That's a surprising statistic and perhaps it does offer hope that we can return home with at least a point. You would have to imagine Tony Pulis is aware of that fact and hopefully will be instilling into the players that getting a good result at the Etihad is achievable.

How do you think should the Baggies approach this fixture?

I would like to see us go into the game with some intention of winning, not just defending for 90 minutes hoping to snatch a point, but I fear that's probably what we will do, which is possibly understandable I suppose given the opposition. We certainly shouldn't be looking at going toe-to-toe with City because surely there would be only one outcome to that. However we approach the game, hopefully we will give a good account of ourselves, especially with the game being televised live.

Where will the key battles take place on the pitch? Who should both sides be wary of? 

I think the midfield battle will be vital as to whether we return to the Midlands happy or not. The trio of Yacob, Fletcher and Sandro, if selected, will all need to be on top of their games to protect the defenders behind them, of whom Jonny Evans and Gareth McAuley will hopefully continue their fine form this season by negating the immense threat posed by Sergio Aguero.

Up front for the Baggies', Salomon Rondon will certainly test the City defence. The jury is still out on him in many respects but the one thing he does guarantee is an impressive work-rate.

Score prediction?

I'd like to think we could pull off a repeat of the performance we put in at Leicester a few weeks ago where we gave as good we got against the league leaders and took home a fully deserved point. However, I really can't see anything other than a home win especially given City's need to cement a top four finish and Albion having not a great deal to play for. 2-0 to City.

Where do you think both teams will finish the season?

I think City will remain where they currently are in fourth position. I can't see them breaking into the top three nor do I see United or West Ham overhauling them. A disappointing season league-wise for City I'd imagine.

As for the Baggies I think we'll finish roughly where we are now, perhaps dropping a couple of places due to a pretty difficult run-in which includes games against Arsenal, Spurs, West Ham and Liverpool. I'll say 13th which the vast majority of Albion supporters will be happy with.

Match Preview

City v West Brom: Need to know preview

Key information, quotes and team news from both sides ahead of Saturday's game.

Key information, quotes and team news from both sides ahead of Saturday's clash with West Brom