Fri, Feb 4, 11:18am by Kevin Pitstock
Here are two sides with very different tasks in hand. Manchester City’s hopes of taking the Premier League title took a blow with a draw at Birmingham City, and if they are to try and reel in Manchester United, they can’t afford to slip up at home against a newly promoted side.
West Brom, who won much admiration, when they went to Arsenal and won, are on a dreadful run and are terribly close to dipping into the bottom three for the first time since the table was in any way meaningful.
City’s title challenge is quietly evaporating, it seems, in the post Christmas period. FA Cup matches included, against second-tier Leicester and Notts County, a division lower, they have just two wins in seven games. Birmingham probably deserved their point in midweek, there was defeat at Aston Villa and a 4-3 win over Wolves, which was clearly far too open for comfort.
City, it can be argued, are missing Yaya Toure, who is not certain to make it back for this one. Edin Dzeko may also need adjusment time, with his only goal so far in that Notts County FA Cup match. City have 7 victories so far in their 11 Premier League home games.
West Bromwich Albion are on a run of form which is also alarming. They have one solitary victory in 9 matches, and that was a very hard fought home win against the out of form Blackpool. They were preciously close to losing at home to Wigan in their last match before Marc-Antoine Fortune’s late equaliser, with the consensus they were worth a point at most.
They ship more than 2 goals a game, on average, away from home. In theory, City should have too many guns for them. Roberto di Matteo’s side have tried to be positive away from home, and this could prove fatal as City are a potent side on the counter should they be caught out of position.
City are obviously a short price to win here, but they should do so with comfort. They are $2.13 with Centrebet to overcome a one goal deficit on the handicap. A 3-1 for City here seems a very likely outcome, with goals late as West Brom tire.
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