Manchester City
Manchester City will be hoping to record a win in this game in order to keep the pressure on ChelseaReuters

Defending champions Manchester City travel to the Hawthorns to take on West Bromwich Albion in the English Premier League on Boxing Day.

After a somewhat shaky start in the Premier League this season, Manchester City seemed to have finally found their momentum, having recorded wins in their last six fixtures.

And City manager Manuel Pellegrini feels that his side are finally playing like champions.

"We are playing now with the intensity and in style of play we always do. Again we have players in high level of performance and good moments," Pellegrini said. "We are trusting in what we do so, in the same way maybe we played in a poor way two months ago, we are doing very well."

This recent run of good form has resulted in Manchester City reducing the gap between themselves and leaders Chelsea to only three points, meaning that the champions can possibly go level on points if the Blues slipup.

Although Chelsea are in fine form this season, Pellegrini is confident that the Citizens will be able to successfully retain the Premier League title if they manage to get 86 to 87 points this season.

"You must win around 86 or 87 points," the Chilean said. "You have to play for 57 points in the second half of the season and there are still six points in this half, so that's 63 points."

However, he says that City are not "thinking about" what happened last season, insisting that every campaign is different.

"With big teams it's always important to win titles but we are not thinking about what we did last season, or what happened with Chelsea.

"You must always forget whatever we did in the past and try to have your mind in the present because every season is different."

Considering their form of late, Manchester City are expected to top the Baggies on Friday, but they will be a little cautious going into this Boxing Day fixture as they are currently facing a striker crisis.

With all his three recognised strikers - Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Steven Jovetic -- still on the sidelines, Pellegrini will probably again use James Milner as a makeshift centre-forward.

Meanwhile, West Brom will be also hope to get a positive result in this game.

The Baggies have not exactly been in the greatest of forms of late, suffering four defeats in their last six fixtures, and West Brom boss Alan Irvine admits Manchester City are going to be a very tough opponent even if they do not have any of their main strikers fit.

"A lot was being made of the fact they didn't have any strikers for the game against Crystal Palace and they won 3-0, so it just goes to show the quality of the players they've got," Irvine said.

"They've got a squad full of players who showed that if you can pass and move and have great awareness and positional sense then you can create chances and score goals."

Despite admitting that City do not have many weaknesses, Irvine insisted his side will give their best in this fixture.

"It's normal to look for any weaknesses we can find and obviously a team like them do not have many. But hopefully there are a few we can exploit. And obviously we'll look at their strengths and see what we can do to counteract them."

Where to Watch Live

The match is scheduled for a 3.00 pm GMT (8.30 pm pm IST, 10.00 am ET) start with Live coverage in India on Star Sports HD 1. The EPL match can also be watched via live streaming online by viewers in India on

Unfortunaly there will be no live coverage of the match on TV in the UK, but viewers can listen to the match live on TalkSport Radio World. The match will also not be broadcast in the US, but the 90 minutes of action can be live-streamed online on NBC Sports Extra.

Australia viewers can watch the game on Fox Sports 1 or live stream the action on Fox Sports On Demand.

Viewers in the Middle East and North Africa can watch the match on Bein Sports Arabia or via Live Streaming online courtesy Bein Sports Connect, while South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa viewers can do the same on SuperSport or SuperSport online.