West Bromwich Albion


Manchester City

The Hawthorns, West Bromwich

26th November 2014, 20:30 IST


There is always a ‘collective,’joyous’ and perhaps ‘heavenly’ feeling associated with Boxing day fixtures. The turkey is still lying baked in the oven and the air is full of the wild-beast’s stench, which somehow is perceived as an aroma.The family is gathered around a fireplace and probably one of the elders, is flaunting his endeavors in life thus far. As the clock approaches time, the family rallies under banners of their respective teams. While some hurriedly rush to the stadium, probably to get a scenic view of things about to unfold in a minute or two, others rely on their comfort and support their respective club sides, possibly with that turkey in one hand and a glass of red in another, from home.The age old tradition of playing on Boxing days, is something which excites fans and perhaps irritates professional players.

This year’s Boxing day fixture, features two sides desperate for a win and all three points. While, Manchester City, would be hoping to pile pressure on league leaders Chelsea, by grabbing all three, West Bromwich Albion will hope that they ‘pull the cat out of the bag’, collect all three, and save themselves from the horrors of relegation spots.

Second place Manchester City, who suffered an irritating start to their campaign, will hope to indulge in the joyous perhaps victorious spirit of Christmas when they take to the field against West Bromwich Albion, away from home. Manchester City, will hope that their shining form, similar like the star atop a Christmas tree, continues. The Citizens, boast an undefeated streak of nine games in all competitions. The Christmas razzmatazz and that ‘collective’ feeling, has rightly eluded West Bromwich Albion and perhaps would continue to do so, even after this fixture. West Bromwich Albion, are reeling at a horrendous 15th place in the Premier League. The recent rumors of West Bromwich Albion’s star player Saido Berahino linked to several clubs, have somewhat added salt to their gashing wounds.

Team News And Tactical Brief:

West Bromwich Albion

Four points collected out of a possible eighteen, are evidence of West Bromwich Albion’s sad demise. The Baggies, after an impressive start, have succumbed to the underbelly of the English Premier League. Moreover, with West Bromwich Albion, just two points clear of the drop zone, some might predict a very topsy turvy season, full of horrors and perhaps ultimately relegation, ahead.

It is no secret that Saido Berahino, is West Bromwich Albion’s best player. The quickfire striker, has already found the net seven times, for the Baggies. Although, the recent rumors linking the 21 year old to various clubs, could be blamed for his slump in form, Berahino has been a revelation for West Bromwich Albion. However, with form being a major worry, the young starlet is set to start on West Bromwich Albion’s bench and could be brought on as an impact substitution.

If there is one player that West Bromwich Albion, direly, sorely and perhaps any synonym associated with ‘miss’, miss, than it is quiet clearly Jonas Olsson. Unlike the other Olsson, Martin, who plays as a left back for Norwich City, Jonas Olsson, plies his trade in the heart of West Bromwich Albion’s defense. The 31 year old Swedish International, has been sideline with calf injury and could prove a hefty loss for West Bromwich Albion, when they ram heads against Manchester City.

Contradicting the happiness of Christmas, West Bromwich Albion, are expected to struggle against Manchester City. The Baggies, will defend in numbers and two banks of five, could be a very possible scenario, in an attempt to thwart Manchester City.

Probable Starting XI (4-5-1): Foster, McAuley, Lescott, Wisdom, Pocognoli, Varela, Dorrans, Morrison, Gardner, Sessegnon, Ideye

West Bromich Albion's probable XI vs Manchester City's probable XI

West Bromwich Albion’s probable XI vs Manchester City’s probable XI

Manchester City 

‘All I want for Christmas, is three points’ would be sticking to the head of Manchester City’s manager Manuel Pellegrini,when he leads his side against West Bromwich Albion. Manchester City, after a purple patch, which threatened their hopes in the Champions League and in the Premier League, have successfully re-surged back. The Citizens, are currently three points adrift of league leaders Chelsea, which is a landscape changing view, given that the ‘blue half’ of Manchester was nine points adrift, some weeks ago.

Although Pellegrini believes that this scenic change has been a result of hardwork and commitment, there can be no denying the hand of god’s son-in-law, Sergio Aguero. Aguero, has been a standout player in Europe, and has single-handedly rowed Manchester City’s boat through torrid waves. However, when Manchester City clash swords against West Bromwich Albion, Sergio Aguero would be far from the clutches of Boxing day fixtures. A knee injury has short-circuited, Aguero’s stellar goal scoring campaign and the Argentine wonder could be back not before Feburary. Manchester City, however, will hope that Aguero’s absence does not rue their chances of winning the Premier League.

With Jovetic doubtful, Aguro and Dzeko out, Manchester City are expected to lineup in a false nine formation, led by James Milner. Milner, who is a traditional midfielder, has been transited as a make shift striker, by Manuel Pellegrini, to make up for the loss of strikers. Manchester City played with a false nine formation against Crystal Place and  successfully dismissed them for good, by two goals to nil.

With West Bromwich Albion next, Manchester City will be hoping that their quest to win the Premier League title, does not suffer any unexpected road-block and would be looking to thrash West Bromwich Albion.

Probable Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Hart, Zabaleta, Demichelis, Mangala, Kolarov, Yaya Toure, Fernandinho, David Silva, Samir Nasri, Jesus Navas, James Milner. 

Key Facts:

  • West Bromwich Albion have won just one of their eight Barclays Premier league games played on Boxing Day (W1 D2 L5), but are unbeaten in their last three.
  • Manchester City have won five and lost just one of their last seven Boxing Day fixtures.
  • Man City have won eight and lost none of their last nine Premier League matches against West Brom (D1).
  • Manchester City have won the last 18 Premier League matches that Yaya Toure has scored in.

Key Man:

Yaya Toure ( Manchester City )

Yaya Toure, has been one of Manchester City’s loyal generals. The imposing Ivorian, has often been City’s saving grace and inspired them to wins, in uncanny performances. His ability to sway the swing of the match, with a single flick of his boot, could be pivotal against West Bromich Albion, who are expected to commit men behind the ball.


West Bromwich Albion 0 – Manchester City 3

West Brom’s Christmas season, is likely to be cut-short by a City hammering. Manchester City, are expected to be in the driving seat of this match, pull strings and gain all very comfortable three points.

Blast From The Past: