Belfast Telegraph

Pellegrini's City slickers feel like they can't lose

By Andy Hampson

Manchester City can equal a club record of nine consecutive victories with success at West Brom this afternoon.

City have hit form in the past month, with their sequence of eight straight wins carrying them into the Champions League's last 16 and cutting into Chelsea's lead at the top of the Premier League.

They trail Chelsea by just three points heading into the Christmas league fixtures having - briefly - been as many as nine behind.

Chelsea have responded to the champions' reinvigorated challenge by winning their last two but, after enduring an indifferent spell in October and November, City clearly have momentum.

Manager Manuel Pellegrini said: "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.

"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."

Victory at The Hawthorns will see City match a feat of winning nine in succession that they have only achieved twice before.

The first time was in the old Division Two between December 1909 and February 1910, with the second their much more recent hot streak of autumn 2011.

The latter sequence, when City truly asserted themselves in what was to prove their first Premier League title-winning season, most memorably included their 6-1 destruction of Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Last season they did win 18 out of 20 games across December and January but the most they won in succession was seven.

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