These four clubs have a combined two losses so far in Premier League competition. Unfortunately for Middlesbrough and West Ham, outside league play was not so kind over the past four days.
Those two clubs were both ousted from cup competitions by inferior clubs, and must regroup to maintain their unbeaten league status on the road.
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West Brom vs. Middlesbrough — 8:30 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com
A Sunday morning road trip for Middlesbrough was good to them last weekend, so why not again? Boro remains unbeaten in the league, having dispatched Sunderland last time out for their first win of the season, but Aitor Karanka will need to put a midweek loss to Fulham in the League Cup in the rear-view mirror.
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It’s been a mixed bag for West Brom thus far, with the high of their opening day win over Crystal Palace erased with a home Premier League loss to Everton and an even more disappointing result against League One minnows Northampton in the League Cup. Tony Pulis and the rest of the West Brom executives are under fire for not improving the squad with just days left in the transfer window.
INJURIES: West Brom — OUT: Chris Brunt (knee). QUESTIONABLE: Brendan Galloway (hamstring), Jonny Evans (hip). | Middlesbrough — OUT: Victor Valdes (hamstring), Marten De Roon (hamstring), George Friend (calf), Fabio (knee). QUESTIONABLE: Daniel Ayala (fitness), Bernardo Espinosa (fitness).
Manchester City vs. West Ham United — 11 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com
Like Middlesbrough, West Ham is in good league form, but their midweek result in another competition will place a damper on this weekend’s events. The Hammers were ousted from the Europa League before the group stage for the second season in a row, falling to Romanian champions Astra Girugiu…for the second season in a row.
Last year, Slaven Bilic turned things around in three days, beating Arsenal at the Emirates just after Europa League elimination. This year, the road test is just as difficult, and with injuries to a number of key attackers, the Hammers will need to dig deep to turn things around.
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Manchester City fell to West Ham at home last season, and Pep Guardiola will be sure to make them remember. Willy Caballero is likely to continue in goal with Claudio Bravo having just arrived, and while it seems Manchester City has yet to be seriously tested in league play, the Argentinian and his back line have yet to keep a clean sheet.
INJURIES: Manchester City — OUT: Ilkay Gundogan (knee), Vincent Kompany (thigh), Claudio Bravo (preparation). QUESTIONABLE: Leroy Sane (fitness). West Ham — OUT: Sofiane Feghouli (hamstring), Andre Ayew (thigh), Andy Carroll (), Cresswell (knee), Henry (knee) QUESTIONABLE: Dimitri Payet (fitness), Manuel Lanzini (fitness), Havard Nordtveit (foot), Mark Noble (wrist).