West Brom v Manchester City
Monday 10th August 2015
Football – England – Premier League Betting Tips
This will be the final game of the first round of fixtures for the 2015/16 Premier League. It has been a weekend of surprises, thus far, with West Ham’s 2-0 success away to Arsenal standing out as the biggest of those. Both West Brom and Manchester City would have been anxiously waiting to get started whilst watching all the other teams beginning their seasons, and now that they get their chance, they will be determined to ensure that their campaigns get off to a positive start.
This will be Tony Pulis’ first full season in charge at the Hawthorns after taking over from Alan Irvine midway through the previous term. The former Stoke and Crystal Palace boss guided the Baggies to 13th, nine points clear of the relegation zone and he will be hoping they can build on that performance and enjoy a season free of battling to avoid the drop. Pulis has not been overly busy in terms of transfer activity this summer, but the players he has brought in have experience of this league which the manager values greatly. James Chester and James McClean have come in from relegated Hull whilst Rickie Lambert has been bought from Liverpool after falling out of favour. Another key bit of business was keeping hold of Saido Berahino who looked likely to leave at stages of last season. His tally of 14 league goals in 2014/15 was an excellent return and one he will be hoping to replicate that effort, if not better it.
Having won the title in his first season in charge, big things were expected of Manuel Pellegrini and his Manchester City charges 12 months ago. That never materialised, however, as City fell well short of the consistency required to mount a realistic challenge to eventual winners Chelsea. Despite that failure, the Chilean has signed a contract extension in the past few days but he himself will be all to aware that should City disappoint again, he is likely to be looking for a new job come the end of the season. Much has been made about the signing of Raheem Sterling from Liverpool and it will be intriguing to see how the English internationalist acclimatises to his new surroundings. One thing is for sure, however, his style of play is exactly what Pellegrini’s men have been lacking and should compliment the craftsmanship of David Silva and the power of Yaya Toure. Add that to the sheer quality of Sergio Aguero and it is a mouthwatering prospect for all City supporters.
Unsurprisingly, Manchester City have had the upper hand in this fixture in recent years. City have won nine of the last 10 against West Brom. They have been prolific against this opponent as well, putting 24 past them during that run. The last time the Baggies were successful in the league against City was way back in December 2008, which illustrates how poorly they have faired against the blue half of Manchester.
It is cliched to say, but West Brom’s season will not be decided by games against the clubs who will likely be challenging for the title. Tony Pulis will be targeting a good performance and hoping for a positive result, but he certainly will not have marked this down for potential points. The visitors, on the other hand, will be desperate for the win to put a marker down to the other clubs tipped to challenge. With Arsenal and Chelsea already dropping points on the opening weekend, it is an opportunity for Pellegrini’s men to take a small advantage and get their noses in front. With the champions due to visit the Etihad next Sunday, the prospect of being five points clear of them after two days is a very achievable one but they cannot afford to look too far ahead.
West Brom v Manchester City Betting Tips
I think it’s fair to say that the opening round of fixtures have been a little underwhelming in terms of excitement but Monday Night Football could be the one that provides the action. City rarely try to do anything else other than attack as that is the area of the pitch where their strengths lie. Pulis will have to find a way to nullify the multiple threats posed by the visitors, and try to counter at the same time. The partnership of Lambert and Berahino could prove to be very fruitful throughout the course of this season, and whilst it is unlikely the duo will start through the middle together on Monday, Man City’s defence – which had a lot of issues last season – will have to be on their guard.
The last 13 games between these two have averaged over three goals and that’s the route I’m going down for my selection in Monday’s match. I can only see the visitors coming hurtling out the traps as they bid to win their third title in five seasons. The pace and width that Sterling will provide should actually compliment the attacking threat that was already at the club, and make the likes of Silva even more dangerous. West Brom have enough of an attacking threat, themselves, and can cause the City back line enoIugh problems of their own, which should hopefully lead to a few goals.
Over 2.5 goals 4/5 @ Betfred