Premier League Preview and Prediction: West Bromwich Albion vs Manchester United

Competition: Premier League – West Bromwich Albion vs. Manchester United 

Venue: The Hawthorns – Sunday, March 6 – 16:00 GMT (11:00 ET)

Match Odds: West Bromwich Albion 16/5 – Draw 23/10 – Manchester United 19/20

Match Preview

West Bromwich Albion welcome Manchester United to The Hawthorns this weekend in a tie that could have an impact at both ends of the table.

A win here for West Brom would take them to 39 points. Getting up to and over that 40 mark for any side in the bottom half of the table is always a huge relief, and although they are not a side who look like relegation candidates, it will be a good feeling nonetheless.

Tony Pulis’ Albion side are 12 points above the relegation zone and they will now be gunning to finish the Premier League season in the highest position they can.

West Brom come into this one off the back of their hard earned 2-2 draw with Leicester City on Tuesday night – further proof that any side can take points from another this season, and the Baggies will hope to perform as well against United this weekend.

Embed from Getty Images

Manchester United closed the gap on the top four with their midweek win over Watford, and with other results going in their favour, Louis Van Gaal’s side chances of qualifying for the Premier League received a major boost.

They struck late on through Juan Mata against Watford and are now level on points with neighbours Manchester City in fourth place, although United have played an extra game.

Louis Van Gaal seems to have the United fans onside once again, despite enduring a tough season, and he will hope they can end the season in a positive way. However, his role at the club still appears to be uncertain.

United have won their last two and are ten points off top spot. Securing Champions League football will be their main aim but given how this season has gone no side can be ruled out of challenging for the title with ten games to go.

Embed from Getty Images

Team News

West Brom have a short injury list ahead of this game. They are expected to be without Chris Brunt, James Morrison and Callum McManaman, while former United defender Jonny Evans is a doubt.

Van Gaal’s injury woes are ongoing. Luke Shaw, Ashley Young, Phil Jones, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Wayne Rooney, Marouane Fellaini, Will Keane and Antonio Valencia are all expected to miss out here. Chris Smalling and Cameron Borthwick Jackson are both doubts.

Key Points

West Brom’s form: D/L/W/W/D

Manchester United’s form: W/D/L/W/W

Key Stat: West Brom are unbeaten in their last five home games in the Premier League.

Key Player: Juan Mata – The United playmaker has been in solid form of late. He netted the winner against Watford in midweek with his fifth goal of the season and that was one which could prove to be vital in the race for European football next season. He will look to prove the difference again here.
Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

West Brom 1-2 Manchester United – Given United’s recent performances you have to just fancy them to edge this one. West Brom are going to be a very resilient and are a tough side to break down so it’s not going to be easy for Van Gaal’s side. If United can put together a long winning streak there are no bounds to where they can end up after the next ten games.

Advertisements

FA Cup Preview and Prediction: Aston Villa vs West Brom

Competition: FA Cup Quarter-Final – Aston Villa vs West Bromwich Albion 

Venue: Villa Park – Saturday, March 7 – 17:30 GMT (12:30 ET)

Match Odds: Aston Villa 8/5 – Draw 21/10 – West Brom 9/5

Match Preview

Aston Villa and West Brom clash at Villa Park for the second time this week on Saturday evening in a West Midlands derby FA Cup quarter-final tie.

Aston Villa will be relieved as much as they are delighted to have recorded their first win in 13 Premier League games when they beat West Brom 2-1 on Tuesday thanks to a late Christian Benteke penalty – it also marked their first win under new manager Tim Sherwood.

West Brom had been in good form before the defeat to Villa having won six, drawn three and lost just one of their last ten games in all competitions.

Embed from Getty Images

The FA Cup has provided Aston Villa with some much needed respite from their poor Premier League form, so if they can secure top flight status and continue their cup run, it could arguably still be a reasonably successful season given the circumstances.

Wins over Blackpool, Bournemouth and Leicester have seen them through to the quarter-final stage for the first time in five years and a trip to Wembley for the semi-final is now within touching distance.

Tony Pulis has revitalised West Brom since his arrival at the beginning of January, much like he did at Crystal Palace last season, and the midweek defeat to Villa was only his second in all competitions as the Baggies boss.

Strikers Saido Berahino and Brown Ideye have been instrumental for West Brom in recent weeks and have shared the goalscoring load successfully, as they showed in their comprehensive 4-0 win at home to West Ham in the fifth round with Ideye scoring twice and Berahino getting one.

Embed from Getty Images

We’re at the stage of the competition where everyone can now almost smell the grass of the famous Wembley pitch and the players will be desperate to get an opportunity to play on such an stage, so we could see a highly competitive, hard-fought game. A proper FA Cup tie some would say.

Team News

Aston Villa will be without the suspended Alan Hutton. Aly Cissokho (groin), Chris Herd (knee), Nathan Baker (knee) and Libor Kozak (leg) will all miss out through injury while Philippe Senderos and Kieran Richardson are also doubts. Ron Vlaar is expected to return to the squad.

West Brom are likely to be without Victor Anichebe who is suffering with a groin strain. Callum McManaman missed the last game with a foot injury but may return to action this weekend depending on whether he passes a late fitness test.

Key Points

Aston Villa’s last five in all competitions: L/W/L/L/W

West Brom’s last five in all competitions: W/W/D/W/L

Key Stat: West Brom haven’t beaten Aston Villa in an FA Cup tie since February 1925. The two sides have clashed six times in the competition since then, which have resulted in five Villa wins and one draw.

Embed from Getty Images

Key Player: Gabriel Agbonlahor – He seemed to have a new lease of life on Tuesday night and Tim Sherwood has clearly lifted the spirits and tried to get Villa playing positively and it showed in Agbonlahor’s forward play. If he can perform to near his best then he will be a real danger.

Score Prediction

Aston Villa 2-2 West Bromwich Albion – This has all the makings of a thoroughly entertaining cup tie and we could see it going back to The Hawthorns for a replay.