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FeaturesSuper statto: SearsCan we play you every week? Why West Brom should be relishing this weekend’s ‘easy’ opponents, Manchester City

Can we play you every week? Why West Brom should be relishing this weekend’s ‘easy’ opponents, Manchester City

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By Brian Sears

4 November 2010

While one of this Sunday’s ‘major’ Premier League games features table-toppers Chelsea away at lower-half opposition, the truly big game between a pair of genuine top-four aspirant clubs is surely West Bromwich Albion at home to Manchester City.

Removing tongue from cheek, it is certainly a contrast of wealth (Jeremy Peace’s prudence versus Sheikh Masour’s billions), a contrast of wage bills (c.£30m-a-year versus c.£150m-a-year), and a contrast of head-to-head success. Oh yes. Because one of these clubs has dominated the Premier League meetings between the Baggies and City. And it isn’t City.

In one sense this shouldn’t be surprising; it’s only in relatively recent times that City have become established in the Premier League, let alone title hopefuls. As recently as 2001-02, the WBA-MC fixture was being played in the Championship, as it was in five of the seasons between 1996 and 2002.

On the other hand, West Brom’s dominance over City has been curiously strong in the Premier League era; indeed in eight League meetings, West Brom have won four, drawn two and lost just two. West Brom have won the last three home meetings in the Premier League, 2-1 in 2008-09, 2-0 in 2005-06 and 2-0 in 2004-05.

The upshot? West Brom have won more points against Manchester City than against any other club that West Brom have played in their various spells in the Premier League.

A separate piece elsewhere today looks at the remarkable start of this season’s promoted trio collectively

Altogether West Brom have won 137 points from 162 Premier League games, and 14 of those points have come from games against City.

The full breakdown of West Brom’s points by opponent is in the table below, as is a table of how West Brom have fared in their first 10 games in each of their five Premier League seasons to date.

Needless to say, this is West Brom’s brightest Premier League start, with 15 points from 10 games. A win over City this weekend would bring the added bonus of them leapfrogging City into the top four.

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