Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Prediction: Manchester United vs West Brom

Verdict: Manchester United to Win and Under 2.5 Goals

Best Odds: 15/8

Bookmakers: William Hill

Manchester United welcome West Brom to Old Trafford for a match of significance for both sides. The Red Devils will want to delay their City rivals’ crowning for as long as possible, while the Baggies are fighting for survival at the very bottom of the league table. With both sides motivated to grab a positive result, this should be an intriguing meeting.

Manchester United 

After their defeats to Tottenham and Newcastle, United have bounced back well and won their last five league games in a row, including a stunning comeback victory over Manchester City last time out. Having gone 2-0 down in a game that could have crowned the Cityzens as Premier League champions, it took a gargantuan effort from the Red Devils to pull out a 2-3 win and delay City’s glory. That win also proved that Manchester United are capable to scoring freely and fighting for a win in a shootout, rather than just grinding out a 1-0 victory as Jose Mourinho is so prone to do.

Statistically United have had an excellent season and, if City hadn’t been so utterly dominant earlier on, they could well have earned the title themselves in another year. Mourinho’s men have lost just five league games all season, conceding 25 in their 32 games and scoring a whopping 63. While many have complained that the style of play at Old Trafford hasn’t been particularly inspiring, the results do speak for themselves. It will be interesting to see whether United’s players are allowed to express themselves as much as they did last week when they face a struggling West Brom side.

Team News

Other than backup goalkeeper Sergio Romero, who likely wouldn’t play anyway, Jose Mourinho has a fully fit squad.

West Brom 

To put it frankly, the Baggies are having a diabolically bad season. 21 points from 33 games has seen them slide to the very bottom of the Premier League table, and that is where they have remained. They currently trail 19th place Stoke by six points, and are a whopping 10 points from safety. It will probably take a miracle for West Brom to secure survival at this stage of the season, and the fact that they have scored 26 times and conceded 52 puts them in an incredibly tough spot. Add to that the fact that they are without a win in their last 10 league games and you can see the problem.

The Baggies have gone through two managers already this season, sacking Tony Pulis in November after a bad run of results to start the season. The arrival of Alan Pardew, who is famed for his instantaneous boost, did little to improve the Midlands side and at the beginning of April he too was sacked. With no permanent manager and seemingly no plan for what happens when they do go down, it could be a long few seasons for West Brom as they try to make their way back into the Premier League Promised Land. A clash with Manchester United really isn’t what they want right now.

Team News

Defender Jonny Evans has a knee injury and is thus a doubt for this clash. In midfield Gareth Barry and James Morrison are both out, while Sam Field and Nacer Chadli are doubts.

Up front both Daniel Sturridge and Hal Robson-Kanu are side-lined.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Manchester United have won their last five Premier League games.
  • The Red Devils have scored 12 times across that stretch of games.
  • West Brom have won just three league games all season.
  • The Baggies have not won in their last 10 league matches.
  • The last meeting between these two sides ended in a 1-2 win for Manchester United.

Conclusion

This is perhaps quite a risky prediction as Manchester United have the potential to run out as comfortable winners here, but I’m still yet to be convinced by Jose Mourinho’s side this season. They are the masters of narrow wins, and with West Brom fighting for survival this could be quite a scrappy game.

Verdict: Manchester United to Win and Under 2.5 Goals

Best Odds: 15/8

Bookmakers: William Hill

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dan Steeden


Dan is a recent graduate of the University of Birmingham and an often frustrated Wigan Athletic fan. When not despairing at events unfolding at the DW Stadium he can be found fangirling over Antoine Griezmann or staying up into the early hours of the morning to cheer on the Seattle Seahawks.

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