Competition: Premier League – West Bromwich Albion vs. Manchester United
Venue: The Hawthorns – Saturday, December 17 – 17:30 GMT (12:30 ET)
Match Odds: West Brom 4/1 – Draw 13/5 – Man United 7/10
The Baggies are in good form, with last weekend’s loss at Chelsea their only defeat in six league games. They bounced straight back with a 3-1 win over Swansea and look good value for their league position, sitting just four points behind United.
Tony Pulis will ensure his team are tough to break down against a strong United team here, and they can take confidence from the fact they’ve won their last three home games on the spin.
For Manchester United, this represents another stern test in their final game before Christmas. Jose Mourinho’s men are unbeaten in seven and have won back-to-back league games for the first time since August.
They followed up last Sunday’s 1-0 win over Spurs with a 2-1 victory at Crystal Palace on Wednesday evening. That should ensure they travel to The Hawthorns in good spirits on Saturday.
Mourinho’s men haven’t reached the levels expected of them so far this season but a win here would start to give supporters plenty of confidence at a crucial stage of the campaign.
West Brom beat United in their most recent meeting in March, with a Salomon Rondon goal enough to earn the Baggies three points. They’ve now beaten United in three of their last six meetings.
West Brom remain without Saido Berahino and Boaz Myhill, while former United defender Jonny Evans is a doubt after missing the midweek win over Swansea.
Manchester United are expected to be without Henrikh Mkhitaryan again here, with the Armenian winger not expected back until Boxing Day. Chris Smalling remains out, while Eric Bailly is expected to miss this trip after leaving the game at Palace with another injury problem. Luke Shaw is a doubt, as is Anthony Martial, who missed the game in midweek.
West Brom’s last five: W/D/W/L/W
Manchester United’s last five: D/D/D/W/W
Key Stat: West Brom have won their last three home games, scoring 10 goals in those victories.
Key Player: Salomon Rondon – The Baggies striker netted a hat-trick on Wednesday night, becoming just the second player in Premier League history to score three headed goals in one game. He now has seven league goals this season and will be looking to guide West Brom to another win here.
West Brom 1-1 Man United – This is expected to be a tight contest between two sides that will be desperate to earn another impressive win in the final game before Christmas. West Brom have been scoring for fun at home and will threaten the United defence here, although Jose Mourinho’s men look to be finding form and will be tough to beat here. Score draw.