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Ratings: Attacking players poor as Manchester United lacked the ability to beat the Baggies

Manchester United were beaten by West Bromwich Albion 1-0 in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon. It was an abject performance by Jose Mourinho’s side who were lacking a lot to break down and make the relegation-threatened side suffer. United lacked pace, ability and gifted the Baggies too much respect in the defeat, deservedly getting the result they got.

This meant that Manchester City were crowned the Premier League champions, a week after United cancelled their celebrations which were set to commence after the Manchester derby. United need to secure their second-place spot this season and missing the chance to raise their lead to four points ahead of Liverpool could be something they will regret in the coming weeks.

United played the 4-3-3 formation, which may have been too much at home, but was needed with the Baggies packing the midfield at times, also parking the bus to keep United at bay. The referee denied United a penalty in the first half after Ander Herrera was fouled in the box but he was too far out of the action to even see it, continuing the poor Premier League officiating this season.

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That is not an excuse for United losing though, it was not down to missing the penalty, it was down to not being good enough on the day, despite having a week’s rest from their last match. The atmosphere at the Theatre of Dreams was poor. The supporters, if you can call them that, should really be ashamed. This is part and parcel of the problem.

There were calls at half-time on Twitter that Mourinho should take some midfield players off and replace them with attacking players. He did just that and despite Jesse Lingard nearly breaking the deadlock moments after coming on, the trio of attacking players did little to help United find what could have been a winner or even an equaliser. Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford were both poor.

United will travel to Bournemouth on Wednesday, playing the match which should have been played this weekend with them playing Tottenham Hotspur in the Emirates FA Cup at Wembley. United will need to put a bit of space between them and Liverpool, or by the end of next weekend, Liverpool will be in second place once again.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

The Spanish number one made some good saves today but was unable to keep Rodriguez at bay from scoring the Baggies' winner.

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25 Antonio Valencia

Played much further forward at times, helping United attack but his final ball was still poor. United need to find a proper right-back or blood Fosu-Mensah into the team next season.

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2 Victor Lindelof

The Swedehad a good game. Seemed to injure himself early on but recovered. Was conservative in his play was was not overly stretched by any means.

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Chris Smalling

Never looked to be comfortable in the match. That seems to be Smalling through and through. That is why people have little faith in him as a starter. Squad player maybe. Needs to be better to continue to play for United.

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18 Ashley Young

Had iterally no attacking threat and both Mata and Sanchez were not playing to the width of the pitch. Replaced by Rashford in the 75th minute.

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21 Ander Herrera

Should have won a penalty for United in the first half after being brought down in the box but the referee, who was away from the action, gave nothing. Replaced by Lingard at the start of the second half.

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31 Nemanja Matic

Unfortunate for him to be the player who inadvertantly gave the assist for Rodriguez to win the match for the Baggies. Had a pretty quiet game.

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6 Paul Pogba

The Frenchman played with a big more confidence, running into advanced spaces to help him team, but still needs to do better. Booked for his 'hand of Pog' in the first half and eventually made way for Martial in the 58th minute of the match.

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8 Juan Mata

The Spanish magician got involved in the game, attempted to create something on the fringes, but was unable to do so. Mata is a great player but it seems he may not actually fit in this team. Sad to say.

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Romelu Lukaku

The Belgian always seemed to look like a threat going forward, despite the fact the service to him was not as good as it should be. That seems to be United's major problem. One of the only players to have earned his place this season.

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Alexis Sanchez

Got stuck in for his team. Created chances, aimed to get something from the game. Tried really hard to get something throughout the game. Admirable performance. One many other players should look at, especially ones dropped to the bench.

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Substitutes

14 Jesse Lingard

Replaced Herrera 46'. Almost scored in his first few minutes, had another shot on goal too. Admirable that he got stuck in, it just was not meant to be.

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9 Anthony Martial

Replaced Pogba 58'. Had one shot on goal, created no chances and his crossing was poor. This is why he does not play much recently. Needs to buck up his ideas. Sorry if you are offended.

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10 Marcus Rashford

Replaced Young 75'. Passing was good (83%). Didn't really do a lot else in the 15 minutes plus stoppage time he spent on the pitch.

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Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia, Lindelof, Smalling, Young (Rashford 75′); Herrera (Lingard 46′), Matic, Pogba (Martial 58′); Mata, Lukaku, Sanchez

Substitutes Not Used: Pereira; Jones, Rojo; McTominay

Bookings: Paul Pogba 29′

Report: West Brom beat Manchester United 1-0, crowning Manchester City as the champions

Manchester United were beaten 1-0 by West Bromwich Albion, the worst team in the Premier League this season. They said the team were playing with pride, but if they had any of that, they would not be relegation fodder. United were abject, there was no atmosphere at Old Trafford, the team were not quick enough and just did not want the victory – even after a weeks rest from their last game.

The match started well for the home side, who in the first two minutes were pressuring the Baggies with Nemanja Matic allowing his teammates some time in the midfield. Alexis Sanchez, when given the ball, attempted a diagonal ball to Juan Mata on the far right but the ball ran out of play. Sanchez, keeping himself busy in the early stages had a shot from ten yards, lofting the attempt on goal.

In the sixth minute of the match, Jay Rodriguez caught Matic napping in midfield, looked to break into the box but slipped just in front of Victor Lindelof, who seemed to be limping after the slip. Both the Swede and Matic seemed to be able to continue the game. Paul Pogba, in the eighth minute, from range but Ben Foster, who does not like to stay in hotels, made the save to deny the Frenchman.

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The Baggies had a chance in the tenth minute with James McClean on the break, passing to Jake Livermore, who passed to Chris Brunt who then fed Rodriguez. The latter lost the ball as Chris Smalling stepped out of his defensive line to thwart the attack. Two minutes later, Mata was one-on-one with Foster after Ashley Young flicked the ball through to him, the Spaniard flagged for offside.

West Brom had another chance a few minutes later with Livermore spreading the ball out to McClean, who put in a great cross for Salomon Rondon, rising to win the ball but heading it over the crossbar. The Baggies seemed to hold off any fear for United in the early stages with Lindelof looking to be the weak link – something the Baggies may try to take advantage of.

The tempo of the game seemed to slow with United failing to move the ball around at pace, which is something Jose Mourinho would perhaps like. Mata, Pogba and Ander Herrera were picking the right passes but not getting through to the final third quickly enough. United had a shout for a penalty denied as Herrera seemed to be brought down in the box, the referee nowhere near it, giving nothing.

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United then had a few attempts on goal in quick succession after the penalty appeal with Romelu Lukaku having perhaps the best chance of the half so far, being played in by Mata but Foster doing enough to deter his side from conceding the first goal of the game. Sanchez had the opportunity to shoot on the rebound, Foster denying his shot also. Some good play from United.

In the 25th minute of the match, Rondon had another chance to score from a header after being set up by McClean but David De Gea made another cool save, not that the shot had tested his ability or anything. It was a pretty clinical header and save. In the 29th minute of the match, Sanchez put in a great cross for Pogba, who was advancing. He handled the ball like Diego Maradona and was booked.

United had a chance on the break in the 36th minute of the match with Lukaku on the ball and running into the box to score what could have been the opening goal of the match but Foster came out off his line to gather, thwarting the Belgian’s attempts to score his 27th goal this season. Pogba attempted from long-range minutes later, putting the ball into the stands rather than the back of the net.

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Pogba seemed to be playing with a bit of confidence after his brace last week, looking to bust a gut to get into advanced areas, also put some speed into his running when he marking players on the attack, putting his defensive duties to use. The Baggies had a chance in the 42nd minute with nobody in the box to attempt to score. United broke on the attack after collecting the ball, to no avail.

In the final few minutes of the half, the game started to stagnate with neither team looking to press forward and seek that elusive goal. United aimed to maintain possession with Herrera making a pass to Valencia on the right, the ball heading towards the box with the Frenchman shooting, finding a deflection and winning a corner, which came to nothing. A minute of added time was played.

Mourinho made a change at the start of the second half with Jesse Lingard replacing Herrera. Straight away, Lingard had a chance to break the deadlock but the attempt was thwarted after the ball fell kindly for him and put out for a corner, which came to nothing. The Baggies had another chance after Pogba lost the ball with Rondon getting another header which was saved by De Gea.

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In the 49th minute, Lukaku worked well on the right to pick Mata out with a low cross but the Spaniard was unable to connect with the ball at the near post, which was unfortunate. United seemed determined to get something early in the second half, whether they get or not remains to be seen. In the 53rd minute, Mata, after some good play by United, had a shot from distance, which was well wide.

In the 55th minute, Pogba was adjudged to have fouled McClean with the Baggies winning a free-kick at the edge of United’s area. Brunt took the free-kick but was unable to cause any damage with the ball being blocked by United’s defence. United won a free-kick after Sanchez was fouled with Young wanting to take it quickly. Young put the ball into the box with Mata making the run – nothing.

Mourinho was getting Anthony Martial ready as the second substitution with the match approaching the hour mark. Martial FC will be pleased to see the Frenchman out of the cold and in contention to play again, but will he put in a performance to be remembered? Martial replaced Pogba in the 58th minute of the match.

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United had 65% of the ball in the second half until the 62nd minute but were not actually doing much with it. United had a great chance in the 66th minute with Lukaku heading towards goal but Foster making the save. The ball did not go out of play and United collected and went on the attack again, achieving nothing. It seems like it could be one of those days at the office.

In the 69th minute, Antonio Valencia played a good ball into the box but not one United player was in the box to collect. Moments later, Lingard had a shot, which was touched by Brunt and deflected out for what should have been a corner. The referee gave a goal kick though, which continues the poor refereeing this afternoon.

Lingard tried to fee Martial in the 71st minute of the match with Foster collecting the ball to avert the danger. United seemed to be frustrated at this late stage in the game but the Baggies were starting to tire, which could be where United’s fitness and experience come into fruition. From a United attack, the Baggies broke forward, United thwarting the danger and conceding a corner.

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The Baggies took the lead in the 73rd minute of the match with Jay Rodriguez beating De Gea. It could be the day Manchester City win the league, needing United to lose to be crowned the Premier League champions. Mourinho made his third change of the match in the 75th minute with Marcus Rashford replacing Young. Allan Nyom was booked for a bad foul on Martial in the 78th minute.

With ten minutes remaining, United were still trailing to the worst side in the Premier League this season. The substitutions seemed to give the Baggies more to contend for, especially after both Herrera and Pogba were replaced by attacking players. The fans will probably blame Mourinho when many of them on Twitter were calling for attacking replacements.

There were four minutes of added time at the end of the second half with United 1-0 down. It seems a distant memory that United overcame a two goa deficit against City last week and cannot seem to get a goal against the worst team in the league this season. That 200th goal of the Mourinho era is still forthcoming.

Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia, Lindelof, Smalling, Young (Rashford 75′); Herrera (Lingard 46′), Matic, Pogba (Martial 58′); Mata, Lukaku, Sanchez

Substitutes Not Used: Pereira; Jones, Rojo; McTominay

Bookings: Paul Pogba 29′

Confirmed Starting XI: 4-3-3 against the Baggies with Lukaku, Sanchez and Mata leading the line

Manchester United will be pitted against West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon. United will have a tough task to beat West Brom, who are currently relegation-threatened, ten points from the safety of the bottom three, with just five matches remaining.

Whilst United may not be able to relegate the Midlands side on Sunday, losing this match and the one against Liverpool next weekend could be enough to secure a place in the Championship next season, which is deservedly so.

The Baggies have previous against United and many of the more neutral supporters of the game would be expecting them to stun United in a way they stunned City, which is something that could happen. Saying that though, Jose Mourinho’s side need to hit them hard from the start of the match and aim to reduce the lead of City even more – with them facing Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Valencia, Lindelof, Smalling, Young;

Herrera, Matic, Pogba;

Mata, Lukaku, Sanchez

Substitutes:

Pereira; Jones, Rojo; Lingard, McTominay; Martial, Rashford

Manchester United and West Bromwich Albion have played a total of 131 matches in the history of both clubs – the first match was played on the 1st October 1892 – a 0-0 draw in the old Football League Division One.

United have a total of 56 victories, 32 draws, and 43 defeats in the near 126-year history of matches. United have managed a 13 match unbeaten run against the Baggies in recent history, which started with a 3-0 victory in the Premier League on the 27th November 2004, ending with the 5-5 draw on the 19th May 2013, the final match Sir Alex Ferguson managed for the Old Trafford club.

During that run of matches, United scored 36 goals, conceding 12 and keeping six clean sheets. More recently, United are undefeated in the last three matches between the two clubs, winning twice and drawing once.

The last defeat to the Baggies was on the 6th March 2016, a 1-0 defeat at the Hawthorns. Earlier this season, United won the reverse fixture 2-1 with Romelu Lukaku and Jesse Lingard scoring for United and Gareth Barry scoring a consolation goal for his side.

Manchester United should continue the 4-3-3 formation against West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford

Manchester United will go head to head with West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon. Earlier in the season, in the reverse fixture at The Hawthorns, United won 21 with Romelu Lukaku and Jesse Lingard scoring for their club, with Gareth Barry scoring a consolation goal. The Baggies have not had the best season, winning only three times in 2018 so far – two of those being in the Emirates FA Cup. Darren Moore’s side holds the record for the most consecutive winless run in the Premier League this season, a total of 20 matches – they are on a run of ten winless matches in the league right now.

Jose Mourinho should stick with the formation he used against Manchester City at the Etihad last weekend, which saw United 2-0 down at half-time, winning 3-2 thanks to Paul Pogba’s brace in 90 seconds in the second half and Chris Smalling’s winner in the 69th minute. Playing a three-man midfield will help United against the Baggies, who will be seeking safety from relegation this season, despite that so far being short of a miracle as they have five matches remaining. Playing Pogba, Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera will see the Frenchman able to break forward, not leaving his defensive midfield duties for a teammate to pick up, which could see United attack with pace and distinction once again. This is a must-win match for Mourinho’s side.

Starting XI Formation Prediction: Manchester United to stick with the 4-3-3 formation against West Bromwich Albion

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Goalkeeper: David De Gea

David De Gea has had a great season for Manchester United, showing his rise in the game and the reason why Real Madrid still look back at him with fluttering eyes. The Spanish number one has kept 16 clean sheets this season, two more than Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson. De Gea has made 103 saves this season, the fourth highest in the Premier League this season, conceding 25 goals, none of which came from an error of his own. De Gea may get his hands on the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award at the end of the season with few challenging him to win the award.

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Back Four: Antonio Valencia, Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Ashley Young

United’s defence is the second-best in the Premier League, conceding just one more goal than Manchester City. There are some problems to fix in the summer, mainly the fullback positions but at this time, both Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young are strong and ready to finish the season as the first-choice at right and left-back. In between the veteran converted fullbacks, there is a problem which Jose Mourinho must contend with – who plays there. Many have suggested that Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly should be tested and this could be a game to do so.

United will face Bournemouth on Wednesday evening, so rotation is needed to keep the team fresh, especially with the Emirates FA Cup match against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley coming next weekend. Allowing both Lindelof and Bailly to form a partnership could be crucial for next season. With Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and Daley Blind all fully fit and raring to go, there will be some contention for places, not only to end the season strongly but to fight for a future at the Theatre of Dreams.

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Midfield: Ander Herrera, Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba

The midfield-three worked against Manchester City last weekend. Ander Herrera, Nemanja Matic, and Paul Pogba seemed to work well together. Playing the same three players against the Baggies could be crucial as they will be fighting for Premier League survival, which is going to be tough for them and something which may not work – thinking about the fact they have to face United and Liverpool in the next week. Pogba played well in the second half against City and he needs to continue that, stopping the speculation which could start to affect the entire team.

Mourinho confirmed on Friday that only Sergio Romero was on the sidelines through injury, meaning Marouane Fellaini had recovered from his muscle injury. United still have Michael Carrick, who has been on the sidelines in a coaching capacity for the past few matches and was crucial in the team talk at half-time at the Etihad. Scott McTominay could also be called upon, even if it is from the bench in the second half. United have a strong and useful midfield to end the season. The summer could see that midfield become much stronger.

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Forwards: Marcus Rashford, Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez

Romelu Lukaku has scored 26 goals in all competition this season. He should continue to lead the line for the remainder of the season. The Belgian scored 25 goals in the Premier League last season, missing out on the Golden Boot, which Harry Kane eventually won. This season, after scoring just 15 Premier League goals, he’s 14 short of Mohamed Salah, who has scored 29 goals this season. If Lukaku can score five or six more goals in the remaining six Premier League matches, he will have had a good debut season at the Old Trafford club.

Marcus Rashford has been linked with an Old Trafford exit this summer after not featuring much after Alexis Sanchez signed for the club. Whilst this is probably just speculation and click bait from the media, as the player has said nothing, it could be damaging for United’s season. The media seem to do anything they can to get United off their game. Beating City last weekend has led to speculation surrounding both Rashford and Anthony Martial. Sanchez should continue on the left based on his form – he has one goals and three assists in the last two matches alone.

Preview: Manchester United to help West Bromwich Albion on their way to the Championship…

Manchester United -v- West Bromwich Albion

Old Trafford, Manchester

Premier League 2017/18

Sunday 15th April 2018; KO 16:00 GMT

Live on Sky Sports Premier League HD in the United Kingdom

Manchester United will be pitted against West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon. Last weekend, United did what many did not expect, especially at half-time, beat Manchester City. Pep Guardiola’s side were 2-0 up at half-time and United, though Paul Pogba, in two minutes, levelled the match and set City’s celebrations aside for a few weeks at least. Chris Smalling’s winner was all United needed to take victory at the Etihad and stun Guardiola’s side, who had previously been stunned by Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League just days before. City lost again to the Merseyside club on Tuesday, exiting the Champions League in the season many suggested they could do the elusive quadruple.

United will have a tough task to beat West Brom, who are currently relegation-threatened, ten points from the safety of the bottom three, with just five matches remaining. Whilst United may not be able to relegate the Midlands side on Sunday, losing this match and the one against Liverpool next weekend could be enough to secure a place in the Championship next season, which is deservedly so. The Baggies have previous against United and many of the more neutral supporters of the game would be expecting them to stun United in a way they stunned City, which is something that could happen. Saying that though, Jose Mourinho’s side need to hit them hard from the start of the match and aim to reduce the lead of City even more – with them facing Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley.

West Brom have had a poor season, starting with two victories in the Premier League, then heading on that long road of defeats and draws. The Baggies have won just three matches in 2018; one in the league and two in the Emirates FA Cup. It is not great but depending on how the next two matches go, there could be a chance the side, who have been in the Premier League since 2010/11 season, after being promoted from the Championship at the end of the 2009/10 season. They hold the record for the longest run of winless matches, which stands at 20 at this moment in time. That won’t be extended this season but the Baggies are on a ten match winless run currently, which could be extended over the next two weekends.

Jose Mourinho has taken charge of 112 matches for United since becoming the manager of the club, winning 70 times (62.50%), drawing 24 times (21.43%), and losing 18 times (16.07%). United have scored 199 goals (1.78 per match) under Mourinho – the first United goal scored on Sunday will be the 200th goal under Mourinho, conceding just 81 goals (0.72 per match). Mourinho has an 83.93% undefeated rate as United’s manager, meaning the club have lost just 16.07% of all matches played during his tenure at the club.

Form: Manchester United have one defeat in their last six matches; The Baggies are winless in their last six matches – losing five and drawing once

Manchester United: WWWLWW – Manchester City 3-2 W, Swansea City 2-0 W, Brighton and Hove Albion 2-0 W, Sevilla 2-1 L, Liverpool 2-1 W, Crystal Palace 3-2 W

West Bromwich Albion: DLLLLL – Swansea City 1-1 D, Burnley 2-1 L, Bournemouth 2-1 L, Leicester City 4-1 L, Watford 1-0 L, Huddersfield Town 2-1 L

Top Scorers (all competitions): Manchester United have scored 94 goals in all competitions; West Bromwich Albion have scored 36 goals in all competitions

Manchester United: 26 – Romelu Lukaku, 13 – Jesse Lingard, 12 – Marcus Rashford, 11 – Anthony Martial, 5 – Paul Pogba, 4 – Marouane Fellaini, 3 – Juan Mata, Chris Smalling, Antonio Valencia, 2 – Own Goal, Nemanja Matic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Alexis Sanchez, Ashley Young, 1 – Eric Bailly, Daley Blind, Ander Herrera, Zlatan Ibrahimovic

West Bromwich Albion: 10 – Jay Rodriguez, 9 – Salomón Rondón, 2 – Craig Dawson, Jonny Evans, Ahmed Hegazi, Matt Phillips, Hal Robson-Kanu, 1 – Gareth Barry, Nacer Chadli, Sam Field, Own Goal, James McClean, James Morrison, Claudio Yacob

Previous Matches: Manchester United have the most victories but the Baggies are able to dish out the upsets here and there!

Manchester United and West Bromwich Albion have played a total of 131 matches in the history of both clubs – the first match was played on the 1st October 1892 – a 0-0 draw in the old Football League Division One. United have a total of 56 victories, 32 draws, and 43 defeats in the near 126-year history of matches. United have managed a 13 match unbeaten run against the Baggies in recent history, which started with a 3-0 victory in the Premier League on the 27th November 2004, ending with the 5-5 draw on the 19th May 2013, the final match Sir Alex Ferguson managed for the Old Trafford club.

During that run of matches, United scored 36 goals, conceding 12 and keeping six clean sheets. More recently, United are undefeated in the last three matches between the two clubs, winning twice and drawing once. The last defeat to the Baggies was on the 6th March 2016, a 1-0 defeat at the Hawthorns. Earlier this season, United won the reverse fixture 2-1 with Romelu Lukaku and Jesse Lingard scoring for United and Gareth Barry scoring a consolation goal for his side.

Team News: Manchester United will be without Sergio Romero with other players back to fitness ahead of the visit of the Baggies

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed that only Sergio Romero will miss the match against the Baggies at Old Trafford on Sunday, due to the injury sustained whilst playing for Argentina during the international break. Speaking ahead of Friday’s press conference, Mourinho told MUTV:

“Everyone is perfect, apart from Romero. All the few players [who were injured] are ready to play.”

West Brom caretaker manager Darren Moore has suggested that Nacer Chadli, Sam Field, and Daniel Sturridge could all return to the squad for the visit to Old Trafford this weekend. Both Field and Chadli played for the Baggies U23’s this week whilst Sturridge has returned to full training following a hamstring injury.

Predicted Starting XI: Manchester United relatively unchanged from the victory over Manchester City last weekend

Predicted Score: Manchester United to continue their fine form in 2018 with another Old Trafford victory

Manchester United 3-0 West Bromwich Albion

copyright: JW