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Premier League Preview: West Bromwich Albion vs. Manchester United

Mar 6, 2014, 2:58 PM EST

FBL-ENG-PR-MAN UTD-WEST BROM Getty Images
  • The last time United lost in the league at West Brom was March 1984
  • Robin van Persie has scored in four of United’s last five PL games
  • West Brom have won fewer matches (four) than any other PL team

On Saturday West Bromwich Albion host Manchester United (Watch live on NBCSN at 7:45 a.m. ET and online via Live Extra) at the Hawthorns with the Baggies battling against relegation.

That said, West Brom are looking to do a rare double over the Red Devils as they completed their first-ever win over United earlier this campaign with a shock 2-1 win at Old Trafford last September.

As for United, they are desperately trying to salvage their season as they chase the top six after several defeats have left David Moyes‘ men languishing 12 points outside the top four.

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West Brom have only won once in their last 18 games as new boss Pepe Mel is still searching for his first win since arriving from Spain. Four draws and two defeats see the Baggies just one point above the relegation zone as they are in serious trouble with 10 games to go. Mel has also been involved in intense speculation about his job, just weeks after taking charge.

United desperately need to finish the season on a high after so many lows and after a UEFA Champions league defeat to Olympiakos in their last game, they’ve had over 10 days to stew over that poor performance in Greece due to FA Cup matches cancelling their PL fixtures. West Brom should expect a backlash.

In team news the hosts will be without Billy Jones after a hamstring tear and Nicolas Anelka who starts the first match of his five-game ban. Although Stephane Sessegnon and Claudio Yacob could return. For United, Juan Mata will be back in the squad after being ineligible for the clash vs. Olympiakos but Javier Hernandez could be struggling after picking up a knock while play for Mexico.

What they’re saying

Jonas Olsson on West Brom’s relegation struggle: “There are a lot of teams down there with us also having tough seasons. For example, it is only recently that West Ham have started to pick up. Experience is going to count for a lot. What we have in this squad is a lot of Premier League experience – and a lot of experience of being in a situation like this.”

Man United’s assistant coach Phil Neville on the rise of Januzaj: “When a young player joins this club we treat them all the same. Can they play football for Manchester United? Can they handle the pressure? Do they have the courage to take the ball in front of 75,000 people? Have they got the determination and desire to succeed? We hope Adnan is just one of many players over the next five years that comes through and plays for the first team.”

Prediction

An away win. Simple as that. United have been slaughtered for their inept, unimaginative and awful defeat away at Olympiakos. But they have kept two clean-sheets in a row in the PL for the first time this season and look solid and steady at the back. I think they will have their way with a West Brom side lacking in confidence, as the Baggies continue to tumble down the standings. Wayne Rooney and RVP will tear it up at the Hawthorns.

  1. crivasldnont - Mar 6, 2014 at 4:15 PM

    That should be the logic. A Man United win. But logic hasn’t really worked for United very well. We shall see.

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