Manchester United will be looking to make quick work of a lowly and winless West Brom side at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Saturday.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has had nibbling issues since the start of the 2020/21 Premier League. One important aspect has been Manchester United’s woeful home form along with their inability to string together positive results. The Red Devils earned a rather impressive 3-1 comeback win against Everton prior to the international break.
However, their home form needs to improve and West Brom’s visit will be targeted as a launchpad. The Baggies, on the other hand, have been one of the few disappointments of the current campaign, with the team yet to earn a win in the Premier League thus far.
Slaven Bilic has a hard-working squad at his disposal but the defence just seems to be leaking way too often, with West Brom conceding 17 goals so far, the joint-highest in the league. In terms of working hard, Ole has also put together a Manchester United squad that has one of the best work-rates in the league.
With the festive period upon us, fixture congestion will be the theme of the Premier League and Ole will see fixtures like these as must-win games in order to climb up the table in a speedy manner.
The last time the two teams met in the league, West Brom came away with a cheeky 1-0 win against Manchester United at Old Trafford. Let us take a closer look at the two squads.
Team News & Tactics
Luke Shaw’s injury means Alex Telles will be handed his first full start in the Premier League at Old Trafford. Elsewhere, Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial all are doubts. David de Gea should start in goal but the defence ahead of him could be a heavily changed one.
Maguire had a bruised foot but is likely to be in contention despite missing training on Thursday. Lindelof could be handed a rest after he admitted he played the last few Manchester United games in pain. We could see Axel Tuanzebe come into the lineup alongside Maguire, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka completing the back four.
Fred should start at the base of the midfield, with Bruno Fernandes the other midfielder. Scott McTominay celebrated Scotland’s qualification to the Euros and is likely to be the one to start alongside Fred, with Bruno being given the freedom to take an advanced role.
Marcus Rashford should be fit in time to start while Edinson Cavani should take the place of the slightly injured Anthony Martial. Mason Greenwood should complete the starting eleven.
Probable Lineup (4-2-1-3): de Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Tuanzebe, Telles; Fred, McTominay; Fernandes; Greenwood, Cavani, Rashford
Slaven Bilic & co. have been dealt a blow, with two players testing positive for coronavirus. However, the names have been withheld and it will be intriguing to see who they are based on who miss out. As far as injury troubles are concerned, Sam Field and Hal Robson-Kanu are on the treatment table. Callum Robinson is touch-and-go and Bilic would hope the forward is available for the Manchester United fixture.
Sam Johnstone will guard the goal against his boyhood club, with a back three of Kyle Bartley, Dara O’Shea and Branislav Ivanovic, who has returned from self-isolation. A five-man midfield will look to stifle the Manchester United attackers for space. Conor Gallagher, Jake Livermore and Filip Krovinovic should occupy the central spots in midfield, with Darnell Furlong and Conor Townsend out wide.
Matheus Pereira should also make it back into the starting eleven after completing his self-isolation period, with Karlan Grant his attacking partner against Manchester United.
Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Johnstone; Ivanovic, Bartley, O’Shea; Furlong, Gallagher, Livermore, Krovinovic, Townsend; Pereira, Grant
1. Manchester United Asian Handicap -1.5 @ 2.050
2. Edinson Cavani to score anytime @ 2.10
1. Manchester United Team Total Goals Over 3.5 @ 4.50
1. Manchester United have actually won just one of their last five home Premier League games against West Brom.
2. Manchester United are yet to register a win at home this Premier League season, having accrued just a solitary point from 4 games so far, one point fewer than West Brom’s home tally.
3. Manchester United have conceded 10 goals in their last 4 home Premier League games.
4. Manchester United have earned 10 yellow cards and a red card in 4 home Premier League games in the 2020/21 season.
5. Bruno Fernandes and Donny van de Beek are the only players to have scored at home for Manchester United in the 2020/21 Premier League.
Player to Watch
Alex Telles could have a huge impact for #MUFC. 🔴
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) November 13, 2020
The Brazilian has a real chance of staking his claim to be the first-choice left-back at Manchester United, with Luke Shaw set to be on the sidelines for a lengthy period. Alex Telles is known for his attacking prowess and Manchester United will need width on the left, with Marcus Rashford likely to cut inside a lot to come in centrally.
If Telles can establish a connection with Rashford on the left and with Bruno to provide him with an extra option to pass to, along with the prospect of Manchester United going on a neat, tidy run, Ole would be reluctant to change the winning formula, even after Luke Shaw returns. A defensively weak West Brom side is there for the taking.
Manchester United 5-1 West Brom
Honestly, it is looking tough for West Brom, despite their brave performance against Tottenham prior to the international break. The Baggies should be able to get at least one past David de Gea, with so many changes at the back.
However, Manchester United will look to go on a run and West Brom could be on the end of pure intent culminating into a dominating result for the home side. We expect Manchester United to cruise to a safe, high-scoring win. 5-1 for the hosts, with West Brom to do well to make the margin any more respectable.