After inflicting on league leaders and rivals Manchester City – their first defeat at home in over 70 weeks, Manchester United continue their push for second-place against a struggling West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.
United have been in decent form lately with 5 wins from the last 5 in the Premier League including wins against the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool and City since the turn of the year. They are currently second at the moment and while six points from the remaining six games would guarantee a Champions League spot for next season, the Portuguese manager should be really looking for a second place finish – and a maximum return of points – which would take their total across the impressive 80-point mark.
Albion are in dire straits at the moment. Languishing bottom of the league – with just 21 points, Alan Pardew’s side are hte favourites to face relegation. With the manager unable to get any kind of momentum going with his side, it is hard to imagine another 2005 situation when the Midlands club managed arguably the greatest escape from the drop in a Premier League season.
Having won just 3 games in the season so far, the time is running out and they really need to pull something very very special out of the bag to derail what has been a decent few weeks for the Old Trafford club in the domestic competitions.
Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku is expected to play after overcoming a sickness bug. Backup goalkeeper Sergio Romero remains injured, but defenders Phil Jones and Daley Blind have both trained this week and are available.
For Albion, ex-United defender Jonny Evans is a doubt with the defender recovering from a knee injury.
Nacer Chadli and Sam Field are in contention, having played for the under-23 side earlier this week, while Daniel Sturridge is also available.
Manchester United are looking to secure a sixth consecutive Premier League victory, something they last achieved in January 2017.
Alexis Sanchez has been directly involved in four goals in his last two PL appearances, with one goal and three assists. That is as many as in his previous 12 matches in the competition for Arsenal and Man Utd combined.
West Bromwich Albion have lost only one of their last four PL visits to Manchester United (W2 D1). But only one side starting the day bottom of the table has ever won a PL fixture at Old Trafford, Blackburn Rovers triumphing 3-2 in December 2011
Jesse Lingard – Manchester United
Lingard has been one of the success stories this season a United – on an individual level and for the manager – who has been able to get the best out of a player whose potential was largely untapped and undervalued. His effervescent style makes him a perfect number 10 for a Mourinho side which relies on efficient passing and movement more than it does flamboyant football. Lingard is a testament to that idea and his link-up play with Alexis Sanchez and chemistry with Paul Pogba on and off the field will be key for United for the rest of the season.
Salomon Rondon – West Brom
Rondon is powerful and reasonably quick with an eye for goal who has really carried this West Brom team to no avail so much so that despite scoring in six different PL matches this season he has not been on the winning side in any of them (D2 L4).
But he is the type of player who could catch United cold in a set play where the home side has, especially in recent weeks, looked shaky in defence.
A routine home win for the Reds.
Manchester United 3-0 West Bromwich Albion