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West Bromwich Albion aim to get back to winning ways this weekend when they take on Pep Guardiola's table-topping Manchester City.

Tony Pulis' Baggies have not won since August – a Carabao Cup victory over Accrington Stanley – and the pressure is beginning to mount after a series of uninspiring performances.

West Brom are not in immediate danger of the relegation zone yet. They are currently 13th, having won two and drawn four of their games. They're not losing many, but they're not winning enough.

City, who have won eight and drawn the other in their nine games so far, have been utterly irresistible recently, scoring a staggering 32 times and conceding just four. With Gabriel Jesus, Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling all in devastating form, the outlook is rather bleak for the Baggies.

Nobody is expecting an overly cavalier and adventurous approach to this game from Pulis. As Wolverhampton Wanderers showed in the Carabao Cup midweek, it is possible to stop City from scoring.

The Championship side frustrated the Premier League's leaders for 120 minutes at the Etihad Stadium, and that was a City line-up which included Jesus, Sergio Agüero, Bernardo Silva and Sterling in attack.

With Nuno Espírito Santo's side leading by example, West Brom will hope to absorb an inevitable onslaught from City and either hit them on the counter or profit from set-pieces.

Even Guardiola acknowledged the significant threat carried by the Baggies from corners and free-kicks after City edged them in the Carabao Cup in September. City won the match 2-1 thanks to a Leroy Sané double, but Claudio Yacob had given them a scare after scoring an equaliser from a Kieran Gibbs corner.

“If you concede eight, nine corners here and throw-ins and free-kicks, they are going to score a goal,” Guardiola said.

“They are going to score a goal. It’s almost impossible to control.

“When you are only one zero up and you concede corners and free-kicks and throw-ins against that team you are going to suffer.”

West Brom would be wise to focus on such a strategy this Saturday.
They have found joy from set-pieces this season, including Ahmed Hegazy's winner against Bournemouth on the opening day of the season and Nacer Chadli's superb free-kick against
Leicester City two weeks ago.

Last season, the Baggies scored 15 Premier League goals from corners, a quite remarkable stat. Although they haven't been quite as deadly from set-plays this season, their team is still packed with physically imposing players that can go toe-to-toe with City inside the penalty area.

City are the smallest team in the league, with an average height of 5ft 10in, so if the Baggies are going to dominate anyone in the air, it's going to be them.

With Gareth McAuley, Jonny Evans, Jake Livermore, Salomón Rondón and Hal Robson-Kanu all a threat in the air, Pulis may look to include as much height as possible against City to give them a physical edge.

It could be an intriguing battle at that end, but whether or not West Brom have enough organisation and graft to stop City from scoring is another challenge entirely.

Premier League