And boss urges his players to show no fear
PEPE Mel is no stranger to beating a Manuel Pellegrini team - and hopes to pull off a beat-the-odds victory over Manchester City tonight (ko 8pm).
The duo last met 14 months ago when Mel's Real Betis side thrashed Pellegrini's Malaga outfit 3-0 in La Liga.
And, although City have an embarrassment of riches at their disposal, the Baggies boss insists his troops can head to the Etihad Stadium with the belief they can take something from the game after pulling off draws against title hopefuls Liverpool and Chelsea during his Hawthorns reign.
“In our last game Manuel was Malaga head coach and I was Betis head coach and it was 3-0 for us," he said.
“But that’s not important because we are with other clubs and other teams.
“This time 1-0 would be good.
“At Villarreal, Real Madrid and Malaga his teams always played with the same, attractive style.
“I admire Manuel and also Tony Pulis, who has just got over 40 points, and I think we can learn from everyone."
Mel admits his men may feel the force of a City backlash after their 2-2 draw with bottom-of-the-table Sunderland on Wednesday.
But he has urged them not to fear the star names they boast in their ranks.
"The bad thing about the Sunderland game is that it might serve as a warning for them and perhaps they might come out even stronger," added Mel.
“But the good thing is it shows we can go out and win.
"The most important thing is for City to think they could well win the game and this is why we have to cause them some defensive problems.
“This is why the players must really believe that we can win.
“Of course, playing against players like Silva, Dzeko, Nasri, Navas and Negredo, we must also be strong defensively."