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Friday February 4, 2011Match Preview: Manchester City v West Brom

By William Wood | In General

Manchester City welcome West Brom to the City of Manchester Stadium looking for a vital three points after a loss and a draw in successive Premier League games.

Micah will sit out the clash following the collision with Nigel De Jong, and Roberto Mancini will be looking for an improved defensive display from his side giving that they have kept just one clean-sheet in their last six games.

A win could close the eight point gap between City and league leaders Manchester United, and it may also provide them with some cushion in fourth place with a rejuvenated Chelsea outfit lying in wait.

Equally, West Brom and Roberto Di Matteo could do with a win as they sit perilously close to the drop zone, despite a promising start to the season.

READING BETWEEN THE LINES

West Brom’s issue isn’t so much in attack – where they have scored 31 goals to City’s 39 – but rather in defence. A record of 45 goals conceded so far doesn’t bode well for the remainder of a relegation battle, and they’ve not kept a clean-sheet since their opening home game of the season – a 1-0 win over Sunderland last August.

KEY PLAYERS

The return of Yaya Toure for City could be crucial with a number of absences in midfield, including the possibility of De Jong missing out.

For the visitors, it’s getting to the point in the season when you look to your leaders for inspiration. The Baggies need look no further than skipper Chris Brunt who has the industry and ability to turn a game, and City will have to keep their eye on him.

MANCHESTER CITY TEAM NEWS

Micah misses out whilst De Jong is a doubt, and Mario Balotelli and Adam Johnson remain sidelined for the time being.

WEST BROM TEAM NEWS

Gonzalo Jaro and Marek Cech look set to miss out, though Graham Dorrans could return to the starting line-up.

MICAH WATCH

After being knocked unconscious against Birmingham City, Micah sits out as a precaution, though he hopes to return for the derby clash with the Red Devils.