Almost one third of the season gone, Manchester United are very much alive in the Premier League title race, finding themselves just four points behind leaders Manchester City.
And yet Manchester United supporters aren’t happy. Blame the bland style of football being played under Louis van Gaal that United fans find hard to associate with at the moment.
Having witnessed a cavalier, free flowing brand of football under Sir Alex Ferguson for so long, this sterile, sideways passing and possession based football is hardly providing any entertainment to the home supporters. Old Trafford has become a theatre of dull entertainment.
United have looked particularly strong in defence, with the Red Devils keeping seven clean sheets, including four in the last five. But it is their lack of goals upfront that has led the fans turning against their manager.
Wayne Rooney, who scored in the midweek against Dynamo Kiev, has scored in just five of United’s 17 games this season. Many have voiced their opinion whether it is time to drop Rooney and give young Martial a chance in the #9 role.
Like United, West Brom are also facing similar problems going forward. They have a wretched record at home this season, managing only one win in the Premier League at the Hawthorns, losing four and drawing one.
Interestingly, they’ve a better away form to show for. Out of five away games played the Baggies have managed three victories and a draw.
Against a goal-shy United, West Brom will be more than happy to sit back, defend, and pick up a dull draw from Old Trafford.
Manchester United Team News
Morgan Schneiderlin missed United’s Champions League victory against CSKA Moscow through illness but the French midfielder could return to action on Saturday, as he trained with the first team on Friday.
Matteo Darmian is suspended after he picked his fifth booking of the season against Crystal Palace. Antonio Valencia is sidelined with a foot injury therefore Ashley Young is likely to play in the right back role.
Rooney should continue playing upfront after scoring in the last match, while young forward Jesse Lingered should get another chance after he provided the assist for United’s goal against the Russian side.
West Brom Team News
Jonny Evans will play against his former club for the first time since leaving over the summer. Another former United player who might feature is Darren Fletcher.
Another former United player, Ben Foster, however is out with injury although he is edging closer to first team football.
Manchester United possible starting XI: De Gea, Rojo, Jones, Smalling, Young, Carrick, Schweinsteiger, Lingaard, Mata, Rooney, Martial.
West Bromwich Albion possible starting XI: Myhill, Dawson, McCauley, Evans, Brunt, McManaman, Fletcher, Yacob, McClean; Rondon, Berahino.
Key Stats: Manchester United vs West Brom
1 – West Brom have lost just once in their last five meetings against United in the league.
3 – West Brom are looking for third successive league victories at Old Trafford.
5 – Manchester United are unbeaten at home this season. Three wins. Two draws.
21- Goals scored between two teams in last five meetings.
81 – Chances created by United this season.
82 – Chances created by West Brom this season.
109 – Attempts on goal by West Brom
110 – Attempts on goals by Manchester United.
Prediction: Manchester United 2-0 West Brom