Manchester United - West Brom Preview: Visitors seeking first league win over Red Devils since 1984
The Baggies are hoping to cause an upset after their hosts' disappointing midweek Europa League result, and have reason to be optimistic following last week's win against Chelsea
By Joe Doyle
Rafael, Evans, Ferdinand, Evra
Nani, Carrick, Scholes, Young
Tamas, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell
Morrison, Andrews, Mulumbu, Brunt
Sir Alex Ferguson could ring the changes following the home defeat to Athletic Bilbao in the Europa League, but that isn't likely to happen as he keeps his foot on the gas in the Premier League.
One change that could happen, however, is Rio Ferdinand stepping back into the starting lineup. Chris Smalling was forced off on Thursday night as the head wound that he suffered on international duty opened up again, and the vastly experienced centre-back should step back in.
Steven Reid's injury is likely to force one of only two changes made by West Brom boss Roy Hodgson to the team who beat Chelsea. The defender limped out of the game last weekend with an ankle ligament injury and will miss the rest of the season.
Jerome Thomas is the other change for Hodgson, with the club confirming on Friday afternoon that he would miss the match with a hamstring injury.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- Manchester United beat West Brom 2-1 earlier in the season despite only having one shot on target.
- Wayne Rooney (pictured right) has scored in three of his last four games against West Brom, and five goals in his last three Premier League outings.
- United have won all but five of their last 43 home games in the Premier League, but one of those five was last season's game against the Baggies, a 2-2 draw.
- Paul Scholes has scored four goals in his six appearances against the club. Scholes is 3/1 with Bet365 to score anytime for Manchester United.
- The Red Devils have scored 21 per cent of all chances created so far this season, the best conversion rate in the league.
- West Brom have never beaten United in the Premier League.
- Roy Hodgson has already won as many away games with the Baggies (eight) as he did with Liverpool (one) and Fulham (seven) combined in three years.
- West Brom have not beaten Manchester United in the league ince March 1984, a run of 15 games.
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Top 3 Predictions
Man Utd. 3-0 West Bromwich Albion
- 27.35 %
Man Utd. 2-0 West Bromwich Albion
- 12.85 %
Man Utd. 3-1 West Bromwich Albion
- 12.8 %
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Mar 8, 2014||West Bromwich Albion 0 - Man Utd. 3|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Sep 28, 2013||Man Utd. 1 - West Bromwich Albion 2|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||May 19, 2013||West Bromwich Albion 5 - Man Utd. 5|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Dec 29, 2012||Man Utd. 2 - West Bromwich Albion 0|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Mar 11, 2012||Man Utd. 2 - West Bromwich Albion 0|
|Mar 8, 2014||West Bromwich Albion 0 - Man Utd. 3||EPL|
|Feb 25, 2014||Olympiakos Piraeus 2 - Man Utd. 0||UCL|
|Feb 22, 2014||Crystal Palace 0 - Man Utd. 2||EPL|
|Feb 12, 2014||Arsenal 0 - Man Utd. 0||EPL|
|Feb 9, 2014||Man Utd. 2 - Fulham 2||EPL|
|1||David de Gea||Goalkeeper|
|14||Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez||Striker|
|-||Sebastien Gabriel Tamaş||Defender|
The midfielder doesn't get many plaudits for his role in the team, but you could see the difference he made when coming on from the substitute's bench in the Europa League defeat to Athletic Bilbao. His passing is superb over short and long distances, and he has established himself as a key man for the defending champions this season.
The 25-year-old has put in good performances this season at key points - notably in last weekend's victory over Chelsea, and could be the key for West Brom if they want to stop United outplaying them in the centre.
The Baggies will be coming to Old Trafford high on confidence following their victory over Chelsea and United's loss to Bilbao, but I expect a backlash from the champions, and with maybe a couple of changes the Red Devils should run out as winners.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed