Friday 16 December 2016

Match preview: West Brom v United

United begin their festive schedule with another difficult away trip to this season's surprise package West Bromwich Albion. 

The Reds are showing signs of a momentum-building run of victories, and with struggling duo Sunderland and Boro' to come at home, another here would be a fourth in a row (for the first time since August) and set us up nicely for the festive fixtures. 

Tony Pulis' Baggies side were expected to fighting against the drop (the Welshman has never been relegated as a boss) but instead they have exceeded all expectations and are pushing for the European spots. 
Having come through a tough examination of our credentials on Wednesday at Selhurst Park, this will be another challenging outing for the Reds.

Pulls has found a settled formula in recent weeks and has a instilled a typical robust, hard-to-beat approach which has seen the Baggies rise to seventh after four wins from their last six games.

Our most memorable encounter against the in-form West Midlands outfit was the ten goal thriller in Sir Alex's last game in charge and the Baggies won at Old Trafford for two successive seasons (2013/14 and 2014/15).
They recorded a first home win over us in 32 years last time out and are playing with a confidence that will fuel belief that they can repeat that feat this time. 

Henrikh Mkhitaryan will miss out for the visitors, Chris Smalling and Antonio Valencia return to the squad but Eric Bailly and Luke Shaw are sidelined. 
Albion's former Red Jonny Evans faces a late fitness test and Craig Dawson is available again after suspension for the hosts. 

Jose said:

"We have three matches in December starting with another away match at West Brom, which will be difficult, and what we have to do in these games is to be in a position that gives us a chance in the second half of the season.
"We are playing really well and if we can transform performances into results then we have a chance.
"West Brom are playing very well, I have a lot of respect for them and Tony Pulis, he has had a lot of success in his career and we will have to be on form to beat them.
"We have won three matches in a row with a great spirit and determination and hopefully that will continue on Saturday."

Form guide: West Brom W W D W L W United D W D W W W 
Match odds: West Brom 7/10 Draw 14/5 United 19/4
Referee: Anthony Taylor 

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