Manchester City return to action quickly after their Champions League exit with an important home encounter against West Bromwich Albion at Saturday lunchtime.
While they can have no complaints about the result over the two legs, City will reflect on what might have been after Sergio Aguero saw his penalty saved at the Nou Camp. Had he converted it would have led to a grandstand finish, but the focus now will be to end the Premier League season strongly.
The defeat at Burnley in what was a largely abject performance means that the champions’ main concern is arguably not an attempt to win the title, but to hold on to a place in the top four, with three teams having closed the gap significantly in recent weeks. Joe Hart will hope to have a quieter afternoon here than in Spain.
A well worked moved finished off by the in-form Brown Ideye saw off Stoke City and helped banish the memory of West Brom’s brace of defeats to neighbours Aston Villa, as they maintained their healthy eight-point gap between themselves and the bottom three; in a game that brought them another home clean sheet.
Head Coach Tony Pulis will surely aim to frustrate the home side here with a defensively minded setup, and Darren Fletcher will play an important role in that. As well as getting a hostile reception from the Etihad Stadium crowd, the Scot has been influential in their good form. Meanwhile, Joleon Lescott returns to his old club.
The home side have a fully-fit squad available but could make changes to their starting XI, which could include returns for Pablo Zabaleta and Edin Dzeko.
Chris Brunt and Claudio Yacob are both suspended for West Brom and will return to contention after the international break. Goalkeeper Ben Foster is out into mid-April.
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