West Bromwich Albion v Manchester United

4 Mar

Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata


Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata scored when Manchester United beat West Brom 2-0 earlier this season

TEAM NEWS

West Brom defender Jonny Evans is still missing with a hamstring injury.

The Baggies will again be without Chris Brunt, who is sidelined for at least six months after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament last weekend.

Michael Carrick could return for Manchester United after being rested in midweek.

The Red Devils, who remain without a host of first-team players, will monitor Chris Smalling, who is nursing a shoulder injury.

MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES

Ian Dennis: “It’s hard to believe it was only three weeks ago that Louis van Gaal conceded defeat in the race for Champions League football. Yet in this remarkable season, we should know to expect the unexpected.

“Could Van Gaal deliver? Don’t bet against it – yet you would not bet on the Dutchman still being in charge next season. Uncertainty remains in an unpredictable season.

“An upturn in results has lifted West Brom, who are virtually safe, yet their satisfaction will be tempered by sympathy for Chris Brunt, who will miss Euro 2016 through injury. It’s a cruel blow, and I wish him a speedy recovery.

“Van Gaal knows only too well the perils of an exhaustive injury list but United’s youngsters have adapted, providing fresh momentum ahead of a trip to The Hawthorns – where United haven’t lost in the league since 1984.”

Twitter: @Iandennisbbc

WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY

West Brom head coach Tony Pulis: “I think we’ve looked a threat going forward which is good, and hopefully we can look a threat on Sunday.

“We have to maintain it. We’re still four points short of what everybody wants [40pts], we have to get there as quick as we possibly can.

“We know it will be a tough game, they’ve had a great result again on Wednesday so they’ll come full of confidence.”

LAWRO’S PREDICTION

West Brom have had a good few days, taking four points from Crystal Palace and Leicester, and that has ended any lingering doubts that they might get dragged into the relegation scrap.

Baggies boss Tony Pulis will make plans to stop United, and I think they will work.

Prediction: 1-1

Lawro’s full predictions v hip hop artist Fatman Scoop

  • Think you can do better than Lawro? Predict the score for this match and the rest of this round’s Premier League fixtures in our Predictor game.
West Brom's Salomon Rondon<!–

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • Manchester United are unbeaten in their last 11 league games against West Brom at The Hawthorns (W9, D2).
  • That run includes nine Premier League games – a competition record by an away side at one venue.
  • United’s last league defeat at The Hawthorns was on 31 March 1984, when Steve MacKenzie and Cyrille Regis scored in a 2-0 home win.
  • The Baggies have kept just one clean sheet in their 19 Premier League games against the Red Devils.

West Bromwich Albion

  • West Brom have registered 85 shots on target in this season’s Premier League, fewer than any other team.
  • Tony Pulis has lost 11 of his 13 Premier League games against Manchester United (W1, D1).
  • Salomon Rondon has scored in three of his last five Premier League games, having failed to score in his previous nine in the competition.
  • Craig Gardner has had a hand in three of the Baggies’ last five Premier League goals (two goals, one assist).

Manchester United

  • Manchester United have won their last seven Premier League away games in March – last dropping points on the road in a 3-1 defeat at Liverpool in 2011.
  • The Red Devils, who have won four consecutive games in league and cup, could win three successive top-flight matches for the first time since September.
  • Louis van Gaal’s side have won just one of their last seven Premier League away games (D3, L3).
  • United’s starting line-up against Watford in midweek had an average age of 23 years and 222 days old – the fourth youngest they have ever fielded in the Premier League.

SAM (Sports Analytics Machine) is a super-computer created by Professor Ian McHale at the University of Salford that is used to predict the outcome of football matches.

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