Man United continue their search for first home win of the season against West Brom
Manchester United to win 3-0
Manchester United’s home form is so uncharacteristic that in only two Premier League seasons have they lost more games at home than they already have so far this term.
Their three home defeats in four matches have only been eclipsed in the 2001-02 and 2013-14 seasons, but baring in mind that we’re only just into November speaks volumes about their dreadful form at Old Trafford.
United did put in an impressive performance away to Everton before the break, however. Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer remains under pressure despite that win, though he will hope to further ease this with a win here.
We know how poor West Brom have been this season. They look so completely ill-equipped to survive a season at the highest level and have failed to pick up a victory either home or away.
Despite United’s struggles, it would take an especially brave sole to bet against them this weekend, considering how poor The Baggies have been.
Form Guide (all comps): DWLLW
Reasons to be cheerful:
Everton win was a huge boost to Solskjaer’s men
One of the kindest fixtures United could have hoped for
Reasons to be fearful:
String of injuries present problems at the back and top of the pitch
Facing longest winless streak at home since 1970s
How badly United and their manager needed that victory against Everton going into the International break.
In fact, they were very good for much of the match against a team who had recently topped the Premier League table, although Everton have since sharply faded.
As usual, Bruno Fernandes was in fine form and United will surely turn to him for much of this season, as they did last term, to dig them out of a hole and propel them up the table.
The Red Devils may have to do without several key players, however – Luke Shaw is definitely out, while Rashford, Martial and Maguire all face last minute fitness tests. Edinson Cavani, a scorer against Everton, could be in line for a first start should a gap appear.
They will feel this is a fantastic chance to secure their first home win of the season, and in doing so, avoid their worst home streak without a win since 1978
Star Man – Bruno Fernandes
Two goals and an assist against Everton dug United out of a tricky situation. He is so vital to this side.
Form Guide (all comps): LDDLL
Reasons to be cheerful
Surprisingly good record against United, losing one of last five
Welcome back several players after catching Covid-19
Reasons to be fearful
Just one goal in previous five league matches
Dropped into the relegation zone before the break
The Baggies will be pleased to welcome back several players who had been suffering with Coronavirus before the International break.
Ivanovic, Pereira and Robinson are all set to return in what will be a big boost to manager Slavan Bilic who has suffered by having a squad that seems to be light on quality.
Unfortunately, the stats do not present a positive story for West Brom. They are without a win this season, and have scored just the one goal across their past five matches.
They do have a surprisingly good recent record against United, however. They’ve only been beaten once in their previous five meetings, winning three.
Their form is completely different these days, of course, and they will see their next fixture, against fellow strugglers Sheffield United, as the more important match.
Star Man – Branislav Ivanovic
It’s not often that a defender is the most important player, but here Ivanovic’s experience could be crucial
Manchester United will be heavy favourites here
Will be interesting to see if Pogba plays a role
Cavani could start if Rashford or Martial are not fit
There have been many shocks already this season, but this would really cap the lot if West Brom were to beat Manchester United, even with the Red Devils in 14th position.
Aside from the odd good half of football here and there, West Brom have not looked like a side capable of staying in the Premier League for another season.
United may be forced into a change or two and the ongoing question surrounding Paul Pogba’s involvement will again come to the fore if he does not play a role.
All that being said, this should be a comfortable United victory if they play positively.
Manchester United to win 3-0