Match Preview: Man United desperate to bounce back against West Brom

After despair in their last Premier League outing, Manchester United will be desperate to bounce back in their next match against West Brom.

United dropped two points against Everton following Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s last-minute equaliser at Old Trafford. They managed to get back to winning ways against West Ham in the FA Cup, but the performance had much to desire as United struggled to break the West Ham block until the 97th minute in extra time when Scott McTominay scored the only goal of the game.

United coming into an ‘important spell’

They are now looking to regain their form in what Ole Gunnar Solskjær is calling an ‘important spell’ of games, as United enter the business end of the season.

In his press conference, Solskjær said: “Of course, it’s an important game for us this weekend and it’s an important spell [of games]. Every game you tick one off and it’s less and less possibility to catch up points on the teams in front of you.”

West Brom are without a win in their last five matches and sit just a point above rock-bottom Sheffield United, however, they proved to be a resilient side in their last encounter with The Reds, where a Bruno Fernandes penalty was the difference between the two teams.

Team news

Solskjær and United will be looking to extend their wonderful away record to 19 Premier League matches unbeaten, this is already their longest away-run in top-flight history. Yet, they will be without Paul Pogba, who came off injured against Everton last week.

Eric Bailly could be back for this affair, he hasn’t started a Premier League fixture since The Reds’ 2-1 win against Fulham last month. Meanwhile, the only injury trouble that The Baggies have is the fitness of Grady Diangana, who is a doubt for the match.

Former United man, Sam Johnstone, will be commanding his side from between the sticks after his impressive performance at Old Trafford earlier in the season. He has been one of the standout performers for Sam Allardyce’s men this season.

Image result for sam johnstone vs united

Who will partner the captain?

Man United captain, Harry Maguire, will be starting his 67th Premier League game in a row against The Baggies on Sunday. He picked up the Man of the Match award in the FA Cup game against The Hammers.

Image result for harry maguire

After his display on Tuesday, Maguire set his sights on the match against The Baggies, saying: “We were disappointed at the weekend, we felt we deserved the three points but we couldn’t feel sorry for ourselves. We knew we had to come here tonight and bounce back and get that momentum back on our side ready for Sunday.”

It is possible that he is partnered by Bailly on Sunday, with Lindelöf likely to start in Turin on Thursday against Real Sociedad. The captain and his Ivorian companion have collected nine clean sheets in 14 matches when they have started together – a great record.

Must win game

With Leicester’s win at Anfield, they move in front of United into second in the table. A win for The Reds is not only vital in their attempts to stay within reach of Manchester City, who extended their lead at the top by defeating Spurs 3-0, but also in their objective of securing a top-four finish for the season.

They have had a blip, but are now in need of finding consistent form as they enter the defining period of the season.

Published by Cain Smith

Covering Manchester United for VAVEL, ArchBallUK & UtdDistrict | Tactical Analysis for BreakingTheLines | Find me on Twitter: @cainsmithMU

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