Manchester United visit the Hawthorns to take on West Brom in the Premier League on Sunday, in a bid to keep within a respectable range of league leaders Manchester City.
For all of the fanfare about City’s victory against Liverpool and the significance it may have in the title race, United sit second and are only five points behind their noisy neighbours, despite City having a game in hand.
West Brom face a huge uphill battle in their bid to avoid relegation. Sam Allardyce’s side are nine points adrift of safety heading into Sunday’s game, and must deal with the fact that both Fulham and Burnley ahead of them have a game in hand to play.
Here’s 90min‘s preview of the clash.
When is kick off? Sunday 14 February
What time is kick off? 14:00 (GMT)
Where is it played? The Hawthorns
TV channel/live stream? Sky Sports Main Event/Sky Sports Premier League (UK), fuboTV (US)
Referee? Craig Pawson
VAR? Jonathan Moss
A muscle injury has interrupted Paul Pogba‘s return to form for United and forced him off during their 3-3 draw with Everton. It is anticipated that he will be out for a few weeks.
Eric Bailly has also been absent with a knock and remains a doubt. Questions continue to be asked on the ability of both Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire, but the duo enjoyed a solid 120 minutes against West Ham in the 1-0 FA Cup victory.
Amad Diallo made the bench in the midweek cup bout and could do so again. Dean Henderson also made a solid account for himself against the Hammers and continues to pile the pressure on David de Gea.
For the Baggies, Grady Diangana has been dealing with injury and illness for a number of weeks, but is their only real doubt for the clash. Goalkeeper Sam Johnstone will start in what is a visit from his former employers; he departed United in 2018.
West Brom: Johnstone; O’Shea, Ajayi, Bartley, Townsend; Sawyers, Maitland-Niles; Snodgrass, Gallagher, Grant; Diagne.
Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Fred, McTominay; Greenwood, Fernandes, Rashford; Cavani.
Tottenham 2-0 West Brom (7/2)
Sheffield Utd 2-1 West Brom (2/2)
West Brom 2-2 Fulham (30/1)
West Brom 0-5 Manchester City (26/1)
West Ham 2-1 West Brom (19/1)
Manchester United 1-0 West Ham (9/2)
Manchester United 3-3 Everton (6/2)
Manchester United 9-0 Southampton (2/2)
Arsenal 0-0 Manchester United (30/1)
Manchester United 1-2 Sheffield United (27/1)
It’s been a long few weeks for the Baggies who haven’t managed to pick up a victory since the middle of January, and it isn’t going to get any easier on Sunday.
The Red Devils will smell blood at the Hawthorns and cannot afford to drop more points against relegation contenders, having already lost to Sheffield United a few weeks back. With the Europa League around the corner, a comprehensive result and performance against West Brom can be good fuel to make a strong start in Europe against Real Sociedad.
West Brom need to buck their ideas up fast before relegation becomes a formality, but it won’t happen here.
Prediction: West Brom 1-3 Manchester United