Ahead of Saturday's game against Stoke at The Hawthorns, we caught up again with Rob, from the City blog Chief Delilah.
He gives us his views on his club's season so far, Tony Pulis, the match itself and more. You can also follow Rob on Twitter @ChiefDelilah.

Thoughts on Stoke's campaign so far? Were City fans expecting to have such a good season?

We're in dreamland to be honest. I think most of us were feeling optimistic after a strong end to last season, but then we lost three early home games to Villa, Leicester and Burnley and got swamped by a season-long injury crisis and suddenly we were a bit twitchy. The manager and the team have worked wonders to overcome those obstacles and have us 8th in the league.

What’s the club’s form been like in recent matches?

Really good - Hughes has pointed out more than once that his teams tend to get stronger as the season wears on and that's run true again this year. The only teams to beat us in the league since Christmas are Arsenal and Manchester City. We did receive an embarrassing tanning in the cup at Blackburn, but bounced back to win our next three games.

Anything Mark Hughes needs to do better?

Nothing springs to mind at the moment.

Your initial thoughts when it was announced that former City boss Tony Pulis had been appointed at The Hawthorns?

I was absolutely staggered to be honest. I thought it'd be the last job he'd go for, given that he's a well-known control freak who likes to be in charge of most aspects of day to day management, and your head coach structure, as I understood it, meant he wouldn't have control of who was brought in, among other things. Factor in the contempt you lot showed for our football when we was here and it looked like a marriage made in hell. It's no surprise that he already seems to have kept you up without breaking a sweat, but how things pan out next season will be very interesting.

Highlight of the season so far?

Bojan's emergence has been a joy to behold - we haven't seen that kind of player in that kind of role at Stoke for years. A genuine magician.

Moment or game you would rather forget?

That 4-1 humping at Blackburn.

Player of the season so far?

I'd plump for Jon Walters. An untouchable under Pulis, this was supposed to be the season in which he was slowly phased out in favour of newer, shinier toys. Instead he's made himself all but undroppable in arguably his best season in a Stoke shirt. He's the embodiment of the spirit, work rate and values that have kept the club comfortably in this league since promotion seven seasons ago.

Anyone been particularly disappointing?

Oussama Assaidi's second coming was a big let-down. He's gone already.

What tactics and line-up can we expect to see from Stoke on Saturday?

It'll probably be the usual 4-2-3-1. There is talk of Ryan Shawcross making his return having been out since January, but my gut feeling is that the starting XI will be Begovic, Bardsley, Wilson, Wollscheid, Pieters, Whelan, Nzonzi, Walters, Adam, Moses, Diouf.

Prediction and thoughts on Saturday’s game?

As well as we're doing I think it's got 1-0 Albion written all over it. Stoke traditionally don't do well against teams managed by TP. We've won just once in eight attempts, and that was 23 years ago.

Nailed on to be last on Match of the Day. Seriously, how do you watch that every week...


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