By 90Min
April 14, 2018

Manchester United and West Bromwich Albion will meet at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Sunday, with United looking to consolidate second place in the table. Meanwhile, bottom club West Brom will be hoping for a highly unlikely victory to keep their faint hopes of survival alive.

The Red Devils will go into Sunday's clash in a bullish mood, after delivering a stunning second half performance against Manchester City last Saturday to inflict what was only City's second league defeat of the season.

Even if the Baggies pull off what would be one of the biggest shocks of the Premier League season by winning at Old Trafford, they will almost certainly still be relegated, after a dismal season which has cost two West Brom managers their jobs.


Recent Form

Michael Regan/GettyImages

United's 3-2 win at the Etihad last Saturday was their fifth Premier League victory in a row. However, their performances have been far from impeccable - they had to fight back from 2-0 down in their last two Premier League away games, against Crystal Palace and City.

Perhaps surprisingly for a José Mourinho team, despite their winning run, the Red Devils have kept just one clean sheet in their last six league matches.

As well as being mildly encouraged by United's suspect defensive record, West Brom may also take heart from their battling 1-1 draw against Swansea last weekend, which ended a miserable run of eight league defeats in a row.


Key Battles


Salomón Rondón vs Chris Smalling

Clive Mason/GettyImages

It's impossible not to feel sorry for West Brom striker Salomón Rondón. The Venezuelan has done his level best to inspire his flagging side, producing moments of sublime quality in a season where the Baggies have generally veered between mediocre and awful.

His combination of power and excellent technique may well cause problems for United defender Chris Smalling, who is thought to have been dropped from the England squad because of his technical shortcomings.

Paul Pogba vs Jake Livermore

Michael Regan/GettyImages

As if things couldn't get any worse for West Brom, United's mercurial attacking midfielder Paul Pogba will go into Sunday's match on a high, after his devastating display at the Etihad last weekend.


The highly rated France international has only occasionally looked like an £89m player for the Red Devils since his much-vaunted return to Manchester in 2016. Last Saturday's match was one of those relatively rare occasions.


West Brom holding midfielder Jake Livermore will surely be hoping that Pogba gives a performance on Sunday which is more typical of his erratic record at United.


Classic Encounter

FBL-ENG-PR-MAN UTD-WEST BROM

West Brom fans must feel deeply nostalgic about the autumn of 2013. It was a time before the club's relationship with Saido Berahino had turned sour, and when the young striker could still score goals.

It was also a time when Manchester United were managed by David Moyes.

Such happy days for the Baggies, who made the most of a laboured and predictable United display to earn their first victory at Old Trafford since 1978.


United created few opportunities against West Brom, who took a deserved lead when midfielder Morgan Amalfitano deftly clipped the ball over David de Gea.

ANDREW YATES/GettyImages

The home side were somewhat fortunate to level through a Rooney free kick which beat everyone, including West Brom keeper Boaz Myhill, but did not appear to be intended as a shot on goal.

Yet it was Berahino who had the final word, as the England Under-21 striker atoned for his earlier profligacy with an unerring low finish.

Perhaps incredibly, the Baggies could even have won by more, as Jonas Olsson hit the woodwork before Berahino's winner.


Team News

OLI SCARFF/GettyImages

Apart from second choice goalkeeper Sergio Romero, who is ruled out with a long-term injury, Manchester United's squad has a clean bill of health.


However, it is widely believed that forwards Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial are unhappy with their lack of starts in the Premier League this season, amid growing speculation that both players could leave Old Trafford in the summer.

Veteran West Brom midfielder Gareth Barry will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury.

Scotland midfielder James Morrison and Wales striker Hal Robson-Kanu are also unavailable, with former Manchester United defender Jonny Evans a doubt for Sunday.


However, there is some good news for the Baggies, as England striker Daniel Sturridge is back in training and may feature on Sunday. Winger Nacer Chadli and midfielder Sam Field may also be available for the clash at Old Trafford.


Potential Manchester United Lineup: De Gea; Young, Smalling, Bailly, Valencia; Matic, Herrera, Sánchez, Pogba, Lingard; Lukaku.

Potential West Bromwich Albion Lineup: Foster; Gibbs, Hegazi, Dawson, Nyom; McClean, Brunt, Livermore, Phillips; Rodriguez, Rondón.


Prediction

West Brom's only win over a top six side in 2018 came against Liverpool in the FA Cup. In their Premier League clashes with clubs in the top six this year, they were well beaten by Manchester City and Chelsea, losing 3-0 both times.

Despite the admirable efforts of caretaker manager Darren Moore to salvage some pride from West Brom's disastrous season, it is difficult to imagine that Sunday's game will be any different from those heavy defeats at the Etihad and Stamford Bridge.

An emphatic United victory seems the most likely outcome.


Prediction: Manchester United 3-0 West Bromwich Albion

You May Like

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)