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Manchester City are arguably at their lowest ebb under Pep Guardiola, but they still should have far too much for relegation-threatened West Brom on Tuesday. City were genuinely awful in one of the most forgettable Manchester derbies of all time at the weekend, barely testing a Manchester United defence that was ripped apart by RB Leipzig just four days previously.
However, Guardiola’s side demolished Burnley at home in one of their most one-sided league outings you are likely to see a few weeks back and should enjoy similar success against a side that is very much on Burnley’s level. West Brom languish in the bottom three with just six points to their name and the worst defensive record in the league, with 25 goals conceded.
The Baggies have scored just nine goals in 12 games – the third-worst tally in the league – and will struggle to break down a City defence that hasn’t conceded a goal in six games in all competitions. The Baggies seem to be heading for the drop, and City can help them on their way.
Tuesday 8pm Man City v West Brom
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City’s forwards looked genuinely incapable of scoring a goal in the drab draw with United on Saturday. Raheem Sterling, who has now failed to score against United in all 21 games he has played against them, looked like a below-average Championship forward, while Riyad Mahrez and Gabriel Jesus both passed up excellent chances to win the game.
Guardiola badly needs to reinvigorate his attacking players and he may turn to alternative options for what should be a routine home win. New signing Ferran Torres has done well since arriving, scoring frequently for both club and country. He could thrive against a relatively weak West Brom outfit, if Guardiola trusts him with a starting berth.
He has still proved effective off the bench this season even if Guardiola opts not to start him. The Spaniard has six goals in his fledgling City career and can add more on Tuesday.
West Brom’s goalscoring record leaves a lot to be desired. They have managed to score in just six of their 12 Premier League matches, with five of their nine goals coming in successive games against Chelsea and Everton – games that they took just one point from.
They have the third-worst goalscoring record in the league after basement club Sheffield United and a Burnley side that is not exactly known for scoring goals. Their struggles in front of the net, coupled with City’s impressive defensive record across their last six games, will make it difficult to breach for Slaven Bilic’s charges to find the onion sack at the Etihad.
Despite their goalscoring problems this season, Manchester City have still managed to find the back of the net in the first half of every home league game this season. They even scored twice in their last two home first halves against Fulham and Burnley, and it is logical to assume that they will do the same against West Brom. Pep Guardiola will hope that is side can inflict further damaged on a side that has conceded an average of two goals in every game and managed just two league clean sheets.
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