2020-21 Premier League: Week Nine – Manchester United vs West Bromwich Albion

Manchester United look to begin their Xmas run-in on a high as they welcome West Bromwich Albion to Old Trafford in Saturday Night Football.

Man Utd could climb as high as seventh with victory if Manchester City and Newcastle fail to beat Tottenham and Chelsea respectively plus Utd claim a huge winning margin.

West Brom meanwhile could at least temporarily move out of the relegation zone with a win and drop Fulham into the bottom three before the Cottagers face Everton on Sunday lunchtime.

 

Team News

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Alex Telles is expected to be available for Man Utd after recovering from Coronavirus and subsequently testing negative in recent tests.

Mason Greenwood (illness), Jesse Lingard (hip) and Eric Bailly (unspecified) could also return from injury whilst there are doubts surrounding several international players; Marcus Rashford (shoulder), Harry Maguire (foot), Anthony Martial and Victor Lindelöf (both back).

Luke Shaw (hamstring) and Phil Jones (knee) remain absent with both players expected to return during December.

West Brom will welcome back Branislav Ivanovic, Matheus Pereira and Callum Robinson after the trio all tested positive for Coronavirus earlier this month and spent time in self-isolation.

Sam Field (knee) and Hal Robson-Kanu (arm) aren’t expected to feature here but could return within next few weeks.

 

Stat Attack

  • Man Utd have taken seven points from their last five league meetings against West Brom (W2, D1, L2).
  • West Brom are unbeaten in four of their last five trips to Old Trafford (W3, D1, L1).
  • Both teams have missed a penalty each in 24 previous Premier League meetings, with Utd scoring two of their three penalties whilst the Baggies missed their only spot-kick against the Red Devils.
  • Two of Man Utd’s Bruno Fernandes’ five goals have come from the penalty spot in seven league appearances this season.
  • West Brom’s Sam Johnstone is one of two goalkeepers to have conceded 17 goals in the opening eight match weeks alongside Leeds’ Illan Meslier.

 

Prediction

Having made an inconsistent start to this season, Man Utd really need to crack on and build some momentum heading into a hectic December schedule which features a brutal nine games in 28 days, although the Red Devils can take heart from their dominant comeback win at Everton a few weeks ago in terms of creativity and defending which actually showed signs of improvement.

West Brom meanwhile ought to of spent the international break focused on their finishing because for all of their effort against Tottenham, their poor finishing quality cost them possibly the win if not a point and they can’t afford any silliness here otherwise Man Utd will punish them hard given the contrast in quality.

One hope for Slaven Bilic’s Baggies is that they seem to be United’s home hoodoo team given that they have lost just one of their five trips to Old Trafford since Sir Alex Ferguson retired, so am expecting a good game but unless West Brom’s finishing improves then it has to be a home win.

Prediction: Manchester United 2-0 WBA

Result: Manchester United 1-0 WBA

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