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Third Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter #1
The Hawthorns
Saturday, 22 January
Kick-off: 1715 GMT (Live on Sky PPV)


BIG-MATCH FACTS

# WEST BROMWICH ALBION atempt to break the longest winless run in the Premiership this season, when they take on mid table Manchester City in the Saturday evening kick-off at the Hawthorns. By the time the match gets underway, the Baggies will know if a first League victory under Bryan Robson would be enough to lift them off the foot of the table.

# History says the Midlanders are already doomed to an immediate return to the second level of English League football for the second time in the Premiership era. They go into the weekend two points adrift at the foot, with one win to their name, 56 points dropped, a goal conceded every 47 minutes of Premiership football played, one scored every two hours two minutes on average, and five points below safety.

# Albion played 70 minutes with ten-men in last month's reverse fixture with City, following the early dismissal of Thomas Gaardsoe. Yet they gained a point courtesy of a late own goal from Richard Dunne.

# MANCHESTER CITY are aiming to increase their unbeaten League run to five games in Kevin Keegan's 100th Premiership match in charge.

# City have never managed to gain a point from either a drawing or losing position this season, but are the third strongest first half team behind Chelsea and Manchester United. They've scored 18 goals and conceded just six times in the first period of Premiership matches this season, and turned around at the break in arrears, only twice.

# City have already beaten the Baggies 50 times in the League, and go to the Hawthorns chasing a fifth victory in six League visits.

Referee:
Graham Poll (Tring)

SEQUENCES/RECENT FORM

WEST BROMWICH ALBION
20th 13 points
Highest achievable after the Saturday's matches: 18th
Lowest could fall: BOTTOM, five points adrift

# Pressing for a first win in 16 Premiership outings.
# Drawn six and lost nine top flight matches, since notching their one and only victory, 2-1 home to Bolton on 2 October.
# Scored fewer Premiership goals than any other club (17).
# Conceded more times in the top division than any other side (44).
# A 0-2 away success over Preston in the FA Cup third round on 8 January, is the Baggies only triumph under Bryan Robson.
# Drawn four and lost seven League games since Robson's appointment.
# Won seven of 61 Premier League games in their history.
# Conceded more goals in the last 15 minutes of Premiership games this season than any other club (12).
# Conceded the opening goal more times than any Premiership club (16). Of those, five were drawn and 11 lost.
# Claimed four more points to this identical stage in their only previous Premiership campaign, the season before last.
# Third bottom in the Premiership's "Last Six Current Form" table with three points. Southampton have two and Norwich one.

# Vying for a first win in eight at home in all competitions.
# Drawn two and lost five League games at the Hawthorns, since the 2-1 victory over Bolton.
# Won four of 30 home matches, all time in the Premiership.
# Weakest club in home top flight games this season, with only one win, eight points secured and seven goals scored.

MANCHESTER CITY
9th 31 points
Highest achievable after the Saturday's matches: 7th
Lowest could fall: 10th

# Won two and drawn two in the Premiership, since losing 2-1 at Everton on Boxing Day.
# Lost all seven at the top level, in which the opposition has scored first.

# Last away game was the 1-0 defeat by neighbours Oldham, from League One, in the third round of the FA Cup.
# Won only one of the last four away Premiership games.
# Scored one goal in each of the last three on their League travels.
# Need four more goals to total 150 on the road, all time in the Premier League.


KEY PLAYER NOTES/POTENTIAL MILESTONES

WEST BROMWICH ALBION
# NEIL CLEMENT, who's scored twice for Albion against Manchester City in the Premiership, will be making the 200th start of his League career, if selected in the 11.
# If he keeps goal, Russell HOULT will be making his 400th club career appearance.
# Kevin CAMPBELL is one strike away from totalling 100 career English top flight goals.

MANCHESTER CITY
# If on the field for kick off, Robbie FOWLER will be making his 50th Premiership start for City.
# FOWLER needs a double to total 150 career League goals.

THIS SEASON'S REVERSE FIXTURE:
Manchester City 1-1 West Bromwich Albion
28 December 2004 - Ref: Andy D'Urso
Man City scorer: Anelka 32
WBA scorer: Dunne 85 og



HEAD TO HEAD TOTALS
League: WBA 46 wins, Man City 50, Draws 25
Prem: WBA 1 win, Man City 1, Draws 1

HEAD TO HEAD at WBA
League: WBA 30 wins, Man City 14, Draws 16
Prem: WBA 0 wins, Man City 1, Draws 0
 

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Discussion Starter #2
West Brom's former Manchester United midfielder Ronnie Wallwork cannot wait to play Manchester City on Saturday.

"Having been brought up on the other side of Manchester, it would be great to put one over on City," said 27-year-old Wallwork.

"I am a Manchester United fan as well and hopefully we can get a result against City.

"I think I have done well since I've come in and I am now looking forward to each game."

Wallwork continued: "I found myself out of action for a very long time when Gary Megson was here so it's just a joy to be in the side and playing regularly."

West Brom have improved in form recently, drawing three Premiership matches and defeating Preston in the FA Cup before the last-minute defeat at Fulham last weekend.

"Losing against Fulham was a big blow for the lads especially after the way we played but it's something we've had to get over," added Wallwork.

"We've got to concentrate on the next game and try and put that first league win on the board under the new manager (Bryan Robson).

"We do need to build on these performances of the last few weeks and get the kind of reward we feel we deserve."
 

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Get in there the West Brom! Made me a bit of money today :greed: :D
 

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Discussion Starter #4
great game.

We are looking better and better every game.
Earnshaw is far too wasteful of possession and is woefully unaware of others in better positions. Yes he's fast but thats not god enough for the prem. Give him time and he will develop, but we looked a lot better when Horsfield came on.

The first goal came from Albrechtsen going down the right wing, and crossing the ball into the box, where Campbell met the ball just inside the box to the right of the pen spot, and swept the ball into the far left corner, James had no chance.

We should have put the game to bed long before the second goal in the last 10 mins.
Some nice play by Greening down the left beating several players, then crossing a chipped ball past the far post for Horsfield to knock the ball back across the goal where Ronnie Wallwork was running from midfield, Wallwork headed the ball past JAmes for 2-0.

Only our second win all season, and well deserved I felt. We should have picked up at least a point from the Fulham game last week too.

A league fixture break next week, as we meet Spurs in the cup.
 

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I'd hardly say you earned the win, more like City handed it to you. We were shockingly inept, but I expected us to lose anyway. We did not deserve to score, and you merited the victory. It doesn't help however when Graeme Poll disallows a perfectly good goal, which surely you cannot deny Jon.

Anyway, we deserved nothing and thats what we got. You were the better team and I tip my hat to you.

~ The Green ;)ne
 

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Discussion Starter #6
thanks :)

But the goal Dunne scored was disallowed as he hadn't blown the whistle to restart play.
As Poll was still talking to the wall, Dunne started his run up, clearly Poll was distracting the wall, he quite rightly disallowed the shot.

City got nothing as we stopped you from playing your game while we played ours, lets be fair, we could have scored several had we had a striker that wasn;t as greedy as Earnshaw.

The save James made from Greening was one of the saves of the season for me.
 

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I beg to differ on the free-kick, and even United fans (can't get more bitter) concede it was a goal. The baggies fans didn't complain, and nor did the players. Poll was not distracting the wall as they were facing the ball at the time it was taken. What kind of wall looks at the ref until the whistle is blown and then looks at the ball? Thats bollocks and you know it. That goal was fair.

Anyway, you still deserved the win. I am currently flicking through Grorty Dick, and have to see its very good, and cheap!

~ The Green ;)ne
 

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Third Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter #8
Yeah I like GD the people who write are devoted Baggie fans, going to just about every game. I've met them several times. I think its quite a well written fanzine, it usually picks up a top 3 spot at the fanzine awards.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yeah but a good while ago though, its another good quality fanzine AFAIR.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Referee hits back at TV criticism

Referee Graham Poll says he is dismayed at criticism of how he handled West Brom's 2-0 win against Manchester City.

TV pundits said Poll was wrong to rule out a strike from Richard Dunne, and to then give interviews on the decision.

"After clarifying on BBC and Sky Sports the situation, I received harsh criticism on both channels," Poll told the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

"Imagine my dismay when this was misconstrued as me taking the opportunity to be on TV."

Poll came under fire after Dunne blasted home a quickly taken free-kick in the 83rd minute, when City were trailing 2-0.

The referee refused to allow the goal, stating that Dunne had kicked the ball before he had blown his whistle.

Poll appeared on TV shortly after the game to explain his decision, but the BBC's Match of The day pundit Peter Schmeichel was not impressed.

"Just the fact he was so quick, he was off the pitch and straight on to camera. He likes the attention," former Manchester United keeper Schmeichel said on Saturday's evening's show.

"I think this is controversial. I think he actually blows his whistle."

But Poll insisted his actions were justified, both on and off the pitch.

"Referees are happy to try to educate people in the subtleties of the laws and it would be disappointing if our best efforts were to be used against us," added Poll.

"I stated on TV that I had not blown the whistle, yet both channels asserted that I did. The players would, I am sure, verify that the whistle was not blown.

"Initially, referees were encouraged to give post-match interviews to clarify points of law. It is a pity these interviews are being used to provide controversy.

"There are times in life when you are damned if you do and damned if you don't, and it has never felt more the case than this weekend."
 
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