Sunday 22 September 2019

Tony Pulis: Manchester City are the best team in Europe right now

Tony Pulis, seen in his familiar baseball cap, will be reunited this weekend with Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola
Tony Pulis, seen in his familiar baseball cap, will be reunited this weekend with Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola

West Brom head coach Tony Pulis believes Manchester City are the form team in Europe and not just the Premier League.

The Baggies face the daunting task of trying to halt the City juggernaut when they host the league leaders on Saturday.

Pep Guardiola's unbeaten team have swept aside most before them so far this season with only Everton avoiding defeat, although City needed a penalty shoot-out to overcome Championship side Wolves in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday.

City arrive in the West Midlands on a club-record winning streak, which includes a victory at The Hawthorns in the Carabao Cup last month as well as success against the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea and Napoli.

Guardiola's men also became the first team since Everton in the 1894-95 season to score 29 goals in their first eight league matches.

Pulis said: " Man City are a different proposition. They're most probably the form team in Europe, not just England. They've been special this year, that group have been outstanding.

"Pep has got what he wants and he's starting to show people what a fantastic coach he is.

"The performances they've put in, the goals they are scoring, it will be a really tough game for us.

"We'll approach it a little bit different to normal. I won't say how we'll do it or not do it."

Last weekend's 1-0 defeat at Southampton extended West Brom's winless run to seven Premier League matches and Albion have won only two of their last 18 league games going back to the final stages of last season.

The barren run has seen Pulis come under increasing pressure from supporters, particularly on social media this week. But the 59-year-old, in his third year at the helm, has called for fans to get behind the team on Saturday.

"The people who come to the ground will watch a very, very good team," he said.

" For me this is what it's all about, putting y ourself against the best. For West Brom to be in a position to be playing, at the moment, the best team in Europe, at The Hawthorns is absolutely fantastic and everybody should go down there and relish it.

"Get behind the lads and let's give it the best we possibly can."

West Brom were dealt an injury blow this week with the news of Craig Dawson's injury.

The versatile defender will be out for around two months with the thigh and knee problem he suffered in the defeat to Southampton. Allan Nyom is likely to be recalled in Dawson's absence.

Jonny Evans, who was a transfer target for City in the summer, and Gareth Barry, a former City player, are both expected to be available despite being forced off at St Mary's with injuries. Welsh forward Hal Robson-Kanu is back in training after his muscle problem.

PA Media

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