Baggies can keep it close
Stuttering Manchester City have injury problems but are taken to edge out West Brom in the Premier League on Monday night.
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Manchester City v West Brom (2000 BST)
Was City's midweek draw with Sunderland - a result which threatens to ruin their title bid - just a blip?
Probably. Remember they had won 14 of their 15 home league games before Wednesday night and the bookies' odds for this game show they clearly expect a return to winning ways - something now essential if they are to stand any chance of regaining the title.
However, they again come up against a side battling against relegation and one in need of getting something from the game.
The Baggies have shown their ability to get results against the better teams too, which will be a concern for pessimistic CIty fans. They've already won in Manchester this season, across the city at Old Trafford, and claimed away draws at Spurs, Chelsea and Everton.
With City stuttering, Yaya Toure and Jesus Navas injured and David Silva a doubt, the Baggies may catch the eye of some. Indeed, the 19/5 about them in the double-chance market makes some appeal given the circumstances.
What puts me off - aside from the obvious potential City have to win the game quite comfortably if they click - is that both Jonas Olsson and James Morrison are doubtful. Losing defensive organiser Olsson (Achilles) would be particularly damaging to their chances, especially given the undoubted talent there is in the home attack.
Even without some of their top names, City should have the depth to cope but we could also have said that on Wednesday when I wasn't the only one who expected them to win easily.
For me, City should still win but the fact I'm using the word should shows why I don't want to put stakes behind them at short prices.
A better way of siding with City given their sticky patch would be to back them to win by a one-goal margin. That's been the outcome in their last three meetings with West Brom. I'd much rather back them to win narrowly at 7/2 rather than by four or more at around the same price.
Verdict: Manchester City 2 West Brom 1
Sergio Aguero has scored three goals in four previous Barclays Premier League games against the Baggies.
West Bromwich Albion have taken just two points from six previous Barclays Premier League games at the Etihad Stadium (D2 L4).
WBA have taken six points from their last three Premier League away games.
Four of the Throstles' last seven league goals have come inside 10 minutes.
City have won only one of their last four Premier League games.