West Brom welcome big spending Manchester United to the Hawthorns for the Monday night clash, with the visitors looking for the their third win on the trot under Louis Van Gaal. The Baggies will be encouraged by their performances of late so we can expect an entertaining affair.
After two points from their first four games, Baggies fans may have feared that the writing had already been on the wall but wins against Spurs and Burnley gave them the much needed lift they had been looking for. Although playing well at times, Alan Irvine’s men came away from Anfield with no points as Liverpool edged a narrow contest 2-1 in Albion’s last game. In front of their home fans once again, a gutsy and determined display will be expected in order to upset an unpredictable United side.
Manchester United won back to back matches for the first time this season, and like West Brom, were in desperate need of victories after being humiliated by Leicester 5-3 around a month ago. 2-1 home wins against West Ham and Everton have propelled the Red Devils into fourth in the league and will want to build on their recent results to give momentum going into a busy period of the season.
The Baggies will hope to have captain Chris Brunt available following a slight groin injury but he looks likely to win his race to be fit for the Monday night clash. Striker Brown Ideye could also make his return to the first team following an ankle injury but Silvestre Varela is still missing with a groin problem. The game seems to have come too early for Victor Anichebe who is yet to recover from his injury whilst Claudio Yacob is to miss out due to personal reasons.
United have a whole host of injuries at the moment but could see the likes of Jones, Young, Smalling and Herrera return to first team action following their injuries. Wayne Rooney is still serving his suspension for his red card against West Ham. McNair (hamstring),Evans, Valencia (both hamstring), Lingaard (knee) and Carrick (foot) are set to miss out however.
- Manchester United are yet to win away from home this season
- West Brom haven’t beaten Man United at home since in the Premier League since 1984
- Manchester United’s last three wins over West Brom have all been clean sheets
- Manchester United’s go into this game in fourth place for the first time in over a year
- Saido Berahino has already scored as many goals for West Brom this season (5) as he did throughout the whole of last season in the Premier League.
Recent Head to Heads
2013/2014 Sat 08 Mar West Brom. 0 – 3 Manchester United
2013/2014 Sat 28 Sep Man. Utd. 1 – 2 West Brom.
2012/2013 Sun 19 May West Brom. 5 – 5 Man. Utd.
2012/2013 Sat 29 Dec Man. Utd. 2 – 0 West Brom.
2011/2012 Sun 11 Mar Man. Utd. 2 – 0 West Brom.
2011/2012 Sun 14 Aug West Brom. 1 – 2 Man. Utd.
West Brom: Saido Berahino
The England U21 star Saido Berahino has made a tremendous start to the season and earned himself a real reputation as a bright prospect for England in the future. Berahino is already showing this season that he can be a top quality goal scorer with five goals already to his name making him the joint 2nd top goal scorer in the league, behind only Diego Costa. He should have quite a lot of momentum going into this match as he scored a late goal to put the England U21s ahead against Croatia U21s going into the second leg. Although it is still early days in the season, Saido Berahino looks well on course to grab quite a few more goals this season especially with his clinical nature in front of goal (he’s managed a 31% conversion rate from 16 shots at goal). As well as being clinical, his shooting accuracy has also been impressive with 63% of his attempts on target. He has a real chance to make a name for himself for West Brom and will look to make an impact against the Red Devils.
Manchester United: Radamel Falcao
After an injury ridden 2013/14 campaign for Monaco, it was normal service resumed when Radamel Falcao got back to his normal scoring ways with two goals in his three appearances for Monaco this season, two of which were as subs. With that being said the big name Columbian striker has yet to make the blistering impact many fans were expecting since moving toManchester United, only bagging his first goal in four appearances – and the winner – in their last match against Everton. He will look to carry on and start showing why he has the reputation for being a proven goal scorer. Although the goals have not been flowing from Falcao, he has surprisingly managed two assists from three chances created, showing that scoring goals is not all that he can do. Many people who have watched Falcao play before will know that he is exceptional at heading the ball with a tremendous leap, but so far forManchester United he has not really shown this skill, winning only one of his 11 headed duels this season. With the attacking choices that Man United have at their disposal even a player of the calibre of Falcao need to put in good performances to be guaranteed a place in the team
I’m expecting a very exciting game full of chances and goals but I do feel that United’s attack will prevail, eventually.
My Prediction: West Brom 2-3 Manchester United
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