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December 29, 2012 6:00 PM EAT
Old Trafford — Manchester
Referee:‬ J. Moss‎
Attendance:‬ 75595‎
9′ (OG) Gareth McAuley

Manchester United - West Brom Preview: High-flying Baggies out to scupper seven-point lead for hosts

The Red Devils opened up a big advantage over Manchester City with a last-gasp win over Newcastle, but Steve Clarke's men could well punish Sir Alex Ferguson's leaky defence

By Tom J Doyle

EPL - Manchester United v Newcastle United, Alex Ferguson
Getty Images


De Gea
Smalling, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra
Valencia, Carrick, Cleverley, Giggs
Van Persie, Chicharito

Jones, Olsson, McAuley, Ridgewell
Mulumbu, Morrison
Odemwingie, Gera, Brunt

Wayne Rooney (knee) is definitely out of the game for the hosts, while Danny Welbeck could still be sidelined as he missed the Newcastle game with an illness.

Captain Nemanja Vidic complained of soreness in his knee after the 1-1 draw with Swansea, and could be rested again.

Shinji Kagawa (knee) is nearing full fitness but this game may prove to be too soon for him, while Anderson, Rafael and Nani (all hamstring) are scheduled to return but may have to settle for places on the bench if they are fit.

Phil Jones and Ashley Young are still recovering from knocks, but could yet make the match-day squad.

Goran Popov (hamstring) has no return date and could miss the match for the visitors against the Premier League leaders.

Steven Reid (calf/shin) and Claudio Yacob (hamstring) could make a return against United, but Steve Clarke may opt not to rush them back into the first team at Old Trafford.

  • Manchester United have won 10 of their last 12 games against West Brom in the Premier League, with the other two results draws at Old Trafford.
  • United have conceded as many goals at home this season - 13 - as Southampton, who are 17th in the league.
  • After netting his fourth of the campaign against Newcastle, no other defender has more goals in the league than Patrice Evra (pictured, right).
  • Robin van Persie has 61 goals in 74 Premier League games since January 2011.
  • Chicharito has scored in two of his last three games against West Brom.
  • West Brom have kept clean sheets in just two of their last 47 Premier League games.
  • Four of Romelu Lukaku's goals this season have come in the final 20 minutes of matches.
  • The Baggies could go third with a win over United on Saturday, and would be 10 points behind them in the race for the title.
  • West Brom last won at Old Trafford in 1978, taking the points in a 5-3 victory.

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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
1David de GeaGoalkeeper
3Patrice EvraDefender
6Jonny EvansDefender
12Chris SmallingDefender
15Nemanja VidicDefender
25Antonio ValenciaMidfielder
16Michael CarrickMidfielder
18Ashley YoungMidfielder
23Tom CleverleyMidfielder
19Danny WelbeckStriker
26Shinji KagawaMidfielder
13Anders LindegaardGoalkeeper
5Rio FerdinandDefender
28Alexander BüttnerDefender
11Ryan GiggsMidfielder
18Paul ScholesMidfielder
14Javier HernándezStriker
20Robin van PersieStriker
1Ben FosterGoalkeeper
6Liam RidgewellDefender
23Gareth McAuleyDefender
28Billy JonesMidfielder
-Sebastien Gabriel TamaşDefender
11Chris BruntMidfielder
17Graham DorransMidfielder
29George ThorneMidfielder
9Markus RosenbergStriker
21Shane LongStriker
9Peter OdemwingieStriker
13B. MyhillGoalkeeper
36Gonzalo JaraDefender
25Craig DawsonDefender
7James MorrisonMidfielder
11Yassine El GhanassyStriker
17Romelu LukakuStriker
28Marc-Antoine FortuneStriker
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
29 0
Daniel Sturridge Daniel Sturridge
20 0
Yaya Touré Yaya Touré
Manchester City
18 6
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Man. United
15 2
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Manchester City
15 0