Manchester City-West Brom Preview

Pep Guardiola is not paying attention to the Premier League standings, despite his Manchester City side's rise up to second place.

City have won their last six league games, and a victory over West Brom on Tuesday would send them - temporarily at least - to the top of the table.

The Baggies were the last team City failed to beat, with Slaven Bilic holding the four-time Premier League champions to a 1-1 draw in his final match in charge of West Brom, before he was replaced by Sam Allardyce.

Guardiola is delighted with City's form, but insists he is giving little focus to the standings with just 18 games played.

"The process was we start to play better, more confident. We saw we were far away from the top of the league, then we get closer, the team eats better, trains better, we get results, successive wins," he said.

"The leader is United, they are top of the league. We'll have all the games, the same games all together, we will see.

"But now we aren't top of the league. The distance is so narrow, but I don't see the table much; I didn't watch it when we were 12th, now it's the same."

Allardyce got his first win as West Brom boss with a Black Country derby victory over Wolves on January 16, but his struggling team then lost to West Ham last time out.

Crystal Palace striker Christian Benteke has been linked with a reunion with his former manager, though Allardyce remained coy on any move.

"I am not sure if Christian is available," Allardyce said. "If they came to me and said he was available. ... I am not sure that is the case at the moment. If he is available I would be interested, everybody knows I am interested in a frontman."

West Brom - Matheus Pereira

After scoring just once in the Premier League previously, Pereira has now netted three times in West Brom's last two games, and is starting to recapture some of the form which he showed in the Baggies' promotion campaign.

Manchester City - Ilkay Gundogan

Gundogan netted the opener in the reverse fixture, starting a superb run in which he has since gone on to score a further four league goals. With Kevin De Bruyne out injured, the ex-Borussia Dortmund man will likely act as City's creative fulcrum.

- City have won their last six away Premier League games against West Brom, their longest ever away top-flight winning streak against an opponent.

- Since losing 5-2 to Leicester City in their second game of the season, City have conceded just seven goals in 16 Premier League games, keeping 10 clean sheets in the process.

- On the other hand, West Brom have conceded 24 goals in nine Premier League home games this season, more than any other side in the division. However, Man City have scored fewer away goals than any other side currently in the top half (10).

- Allardyce has only lost four consecutive home Premier League games once previously, doing so in December 2004 with Bolton Wanderers. Allardyce could become the first manager since Chris Ramsey at QPR in March 2015 to lose his first four home Premier League games in charge of a club.

- In his league managerial career with Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Man City, the only time Guardiola has failed to beat a newly promoted team either home or away in a season was against Middlesbrough in 2016-17, drawing both games.

Updated January 25, 2021

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