Preview: Manchester United v West Brom

Manchester United will aim to continue their push for a top-four finish in the Premier League when they host West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

Premier League
1 April 2017
Game week 30
Kick-off: 16H00 (GMT+2)
Venue: Old Trafford

Referee: M. Dean
Assistants: J. Collin, S. Long
Fourth official: P. Bankes

Head-to-head summary:

TEAM MATCHES WIN DRAW LOSS
Manchester United 110 50 25 35
West Brom 110 35 25 50

Previous encounter:

West Brom 0-2 Manchester United 17 December 2017 (Premier League)

Manchester United goalscorers: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (5′, 56′)

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strong>Players to watch:

With Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba on the sidelines, United may look to the likes of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial to step up and provide the attacking threat needed to overcome the visitors. Both youngsters have netted seven goals this season.

West Brom will be hoping Salomón Rondón is fit to play as he is leading their goal-scoring charts alongside centre-back Gareth McAuley who has also bagged seven goals. Despite approaching his 38th birthday, McAuley is enjoying the most prolific year in his career in front of goal.

Team form and manager quotes:

The Red Devils have not tasted defeat in the league in their last 18 games, winning 10 and drawing eight. The unbeaten run has seen manager Jose Mourinho’s charges climb up to fifth position in the standings. They are only four points behind fourth-placed Liverpool with two games in hand to make up the difference.

In the build-up to the game, Mourinho made an incorrect claim that his side were hit harder by the recent international break because they had 13 players on international duty, while West Brom only had one, when in fact the Baggies had 10 players in action for their countries.

“If you compare our situation with our opponents – West Bromwich Albion only had one player on international duty,” Mourinho claimed to Sky Sports.

“They had time to work, time to rest and prepare. It is going to be hard.”

Meanwhile, West Brom went into the international break with great confidence after beating Arsenal 3-1 at the Hawthornes and should be upbeat ahead of the United tie.

The Baggies are eighth in the Premier League standings after losing only twice in their last eight top-flight encounters.

Manager Tony Pulis told the press: “There’s no complacency. We deserve enormous credit to be on 43 points already. We have a tough end to the season coming up.”

Team news:

United will be without the services of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones, who picked up injuries while on international duty with England, while Paul Pogba is still injured and Zlatan Ibrahimovic is suspended.

Matt Phillips is expected to be unavailable for West Brom due to a hamstring injury, while Nacer Chadli and Salomón Rondón face late fitness tests.

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