Manchester City will be hoping to make a strong start to the new Premier League season when they take onWest Bromwich Albion in their opening fixture at The Hawthorns.

The Citizens are expected by many to mount a strong title challenge, while the Baggies will be looking to extend their spell in the top flight.

West Bromwich Albion

West Brom are traditionally known as one of the biggest yo-yo clubs in English football, but last season they secured their place in the Premier League for a fifth straight year.

However, for long periods it had looked as if they would be heading for the Championship after a dismal start that saw them win just four games before Christmas.

Their poor form led to manager Alan Irvine losing his job and he was replaced by Tony Pulis on New Year's Day. The former Stoke City boss soon turned things around at The Hawthorns and he eventually guided the club to a respectable 13th-place finish.

As the Baggies prepare for the new season, Pulis has got rid of a number of fringe players and has brought in James McClean, James Chester and Rickie Lambert for a combined total of just over £12m, to add to the shrewd acquisitions of Callum McManaman and Darren Fletcher that he signed in January.

Things have not gone entirely to plan for the club over the summer, as talks of a proposed takeover collapsed last month, while key midfielder Youssuf Mulumbu left on a free transfer to Norwich City.

They have managed to keep hold of last season's top scorer Saido Berahino, although the England Under-21 international has been constantly linked with a move to Tottenham Hotspur. His goals were vital to the club in the last campaign and it remains to be seen whether they have the players capable of filling the void should be depart.

Recent form: LWWWWL

Manchester City

Having claimed the Premier League title in the 2013-14 season, Manchester City were expected to compete for honours again last term and they were level with Chelsea at the top of the table after beating Sunderland on New Year's Day.

However, a run of four games in the league without a win followed and defeats to Burnley and Liverpool in March saw them slip out of the running altogether.

They eventually recovered to win their final six games of the season and finish in second place, but the same will not be tolerated by the club's owners again.

The pressure is now firmly on manager Manuel Pellegrini to win silverware this season, but the Chilean has been given a boost after signing a contract extension earlier today.

He has also been given the funds to improve his squad this summer, with the club record signing ofRaheem Sterling for £49m from Liverpool the standout transfer. They have also boosted their midfield with the arrival of Fabian Delph, who had initially turned down the chance to join the club, before making a dramatic u-turn.

Their pre-season form has not been great, after suffering heavy defeats to Real Madrid and Stuttgart, so it is vital for them to get off to a good start ahead of next weekend's clash against Chelsea, as they look to send out an early title warning to their closest rivals.

Recent form: WWDLWL

Team News

Ben Foster is still ruled out of action for the Baggies with a knee injury, so Boaz Myhill should continue in goal.

Gareth McAuley is a doubt after suffering from a thigh problem, but he is expected to make the starting lineup.

There should also be a start for Berahino, with Lambert joining him in the attack after scoring twice on his debut in a 4-0 win over Bristol Rovers.

Meanwhile, Delph is ruled out for City with the hamstring injury that he suffered on his debut in a defeat against Real Madrid, while Gael Clichy is sidelined with an ankle problem.

Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Samir Nasri have been suffering with a sickness bug, but they have all recovered and are expected to be in the matchday squad.

West Brom possible starting lineup:
Myhill, Lescott, McAuley, Chester, Dawson, Brunt, Morrison, Fletcher, Gardner, Lambert, Berahino

Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Hart, Sagna, Kompany, Mangala, Kolarov, Toure, Fernandinho, Silva, Navas, Sterling, Aguero

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