Two-time champions Manchester City are the last team to round off the Premier League’s opening round of fixtures when they visit West Bromwich Albion tonight.
Unbeaten in their last five league games at the Hawthorns, Manuel Pellegrini’s men go into tonight’s encounter in high spirits and full of confidence, despite a disappointing pre-season schedule.
City defender Gael Clichy will miss his side’s Premier League opener with an ankle injury, meanwhile summer signing Fabian Delph remains sidelined with a hamstring problem.
Nonetheless; England’s most expensive player ever, Raheem Sterling, is set to be handed his first competitive start for the club since his record-breaking £49m move from Liverpool last month.
Pellegrini will also be relieved that David Silva, Samir Nasri and Sergio Aguero are all available for selection after the trio recovered from illness as the Citizens look to regain their Premier League title from Chelsea this season.
Meanwhile the Baggies, who have slumped to seven consecutive defeats against City in all competitions, will be hoping to improve upon last term’s 13th place finish under boss Tony Pulis.
Having never been relegated as a manager, Pulis will be hoping to keep his CV clean from any demotion disasters this year as West Brom face one of the toughest opening fixtures of the Premier League campaign.
Summer signings Rickie Lambert (Liverpool), James McClean (Wigan Athletic) and James Chester (Hull City) are set to make their debuts for the club, although Serge Gnabry’s (Arsenal) loan move was completed too late for him to feature.
Last meeting: Man City 3-0 West Brom
Key men: West Brom – Saido Berahino; Man City – Sergio Aguero
Shoot Says: West Brom 1-2 Man City