It's now been a month since the last time Manchester City won a football match, and the streak has reached six games and it's getting really annoying. The frustration grows when you see that City were able to win 10 straight matches to start the season playing outstanding football, only to start conceding goals like crazy and struggle to play Pep Ball as well as the team did in the first two months of the campaign.
Pep Guardiola is on the worst run of results since he became a manager eight years ago, a remarkable stat that really shows how good the Catalan has been at his job. He's certainly more upset about the winless streak than anyone, and he's certainly working hard to find an answer to this bad period.
Barcelona visit the Etihad on Tuesday in a massive Champions League game, and the ideal thing would be to face the world's best team with a high level of confidence. That won't be possible, but a win against West Brom on Saturday will help City taste victory once again, which will be a big boost ahead of such a tough game in midweek.
Playing and beating a Tony Pulis team is never easy or fun, but it has to be done. It just has to. The streak needs to be over before Barcelona, and this is the last opportunity.
Can City do it?
MATCH INFO, ONLINE/TV LISTINGS
Date/Time: Saturday, October 29, 2016, 3pm local time (UK), 10am ET, 7am PT (US), 7:30pm IST (India)
Venue: The Hawthorns, West Bromwich, England
Referee: Lee Mason
TV listings: Premier League Extra Time (US), Sportsnet (Canada), elsewhere
Online streaming: NBC Sports Live (US), Sportsnet World Now (Canada), BBC Radio 5 Live (UK - Radio), elsewhere
West Brom: Pulis signed a one-year contract extension that will keep him as West Brom manager until 2018, which shows the club is very pleased with the job he's done so far. The style of football is the one you expect: ugly, ultra-competitive, very defensive, based on tactical discipline and very little display of talent. It has worked for Pulis for over 1000 matches, and he will never change.
For this game, he has very little selection problems: Claudio Yacob is suspended, while James McClean and Saido Berahino may not feature because of fitness issues. Other than that, everyone is availble, including Jonny Evans, who returns from suspension and will sure make West Brom's defense even harder to break down. Up front, Salomon Rondón and Nacer Chadli are the only (somewhat) creative forces on the side, and they'll have to be clinical on Saturday, because scoring chances are unlikely to come by too many times.
Man City: Guardiola has only two injured players on the squad at the moment (Bacary Sagna and Fabian Delph), though Kevin De Bruyne and Pablo Zabaleta will undergo late fitness tests and are unlikely to start. They will play against Barça, for sure, but might not be involved in the action against the Baggies to preserve their fitness for the big game.
All the other big stars are available and likely to feature from the first whistle, given that most of them were rested in the EFL Cup loss against Manchester United. Claudio Bravo, John Stones, Fernandinho, Ilkay Gundogan and David Silva are all expected back in the starting lineup, with Vincent Kompany dropping to the bench in this one.
Sergio Agüero hasn't scored in eight games, and he hopes to end that drought on Saturday to have some confidence going into the Barcelona clash. It's all about confidence.
Don't expect too many goals against a Tony Pulis team, so it'll be a nervous game for us to watch. We'll break the streak, though, and Sergio Agüero will find his scoring boots again. 2-0 City, Kun Double.