West Bromwich Albion host Manchester United in game-week 28 after hitting a bit of form themselves recently – winning 2 of their last 3 games in the league including a narrow 3-2 win at home against Crystal Palace. They have their feet firmly on the ground in terms of their league position – sit 14th on the league table with 36 points, with no fears of a relegation fight, testament to Tony Pulis’ reputation of steering teams into an area of security. They will go into this game on the back of an encouraging performance against league leaders Leicester City holding them to a highly respectable draw.
It looks like Manchester United have turned a corner, at last Or this could be another of a long list of false dawns that Van Gaal’s men have provided. The Red Devils enter a huge March in their campaign, which has the potential to make or break the Dutchman’s time at United. They go into this game following a massive win against Watford at home after playing quite poorly in truth. With a two-legged affair against arch rivals Liverpool on the horizon and an FA Cup quarter-final sandwiched in between, Man United need to put the pressure on Man City in the fight for top four and they absolutely need three points from their potentially difficult trip to the Hawthorns.
West Bromwich Albion
Tony Pulis will be missing some key players for the visit of Man United in midfielder Chris Brunt (ACL) who is out sidelined until October. Former United defender Jonny Evans will not be available as the game will have come too soon for the Irishman.
Manchester United will be boosted by the return of some first-team players in Marouane Fellaini, Antonio Valencia and Phil Jones who have all trained in the last week ready to make the return to the match-day squad. Although, they still have 8 injuries to cope with, at this point in time.
- West Bromwich Albion have lost just two of the last six Barclays Premier League matches against Manchester United (W2 D2 L2).
- Manchester United named their fourth youngest starting XI in Premier League history in their last game against Watford (23 years, 222 days old on average).
- Louis van Gaal’s side have won just one of their last seven Premier League away games (W1 D3 L3).
- West Brom have attempted 85 shots on target this season, fewer than any other team in the Premier League.
Key Men Comparison
Salomon Rondon (West Bromwich Albion) v Memphis Depay (Man United)
Salomon Rondon has been in good niche in recent games with the forward scoring some crucial goals in three of his last five Premier League games, having failed to score in his previous nine in the competition. His aerial ability and physical prowess is exactly what United struggle defending against and it will be interesting to see if the 26-year old forward can make the most of their shortcomings at the back.
Memphis Depay has come leaps and bounds in the last few games with the dynamic youngster finally playing with some maturity. The tenacious youngster still needs to add goals to his game and his partnership up top alongside fellow speedsters Martial and Rashford will be crucial for Van Gaal’s men to improve their poor away record.
United have been decent of late but this is the sort of game they usually struggle to get maximum points from, even when on form.
West Bromwich Albion 1-1 Manchester United