Man Utd can carry on Hawthorns record despite Rooney’s absence
Manchester United go into this crucial battle looking to stay in touch with runaway table toppers Chelsea, knowing that they have not lost away to West Bromwich Albion in the league since 1984.
The Red Devils have incredibly won nine out of 10 of those encounters, which is why they are odds-on favourites at 4/6 with Coral to beat the Baggies once more. A 2-1 result in United’s favour was the most common scoreline (four times), so take a price of 15/2 for that outcome again.
West Brom, though, come into this game in decent form, having won three of their last four matches in all competitions, and are 10/3 chances for victory.
United will also be without captain Wayne Rooney again, who is still suspended after his sending off against West Ham United. The 99-capped England star has remarkably scored in each of his last six starts against the West Midlands outfit, with his side always winning.
On top of that, the last time he did not feature, which was on the last day of the 2012/13 campaign and Sir Alex Ferguson’s final match in charge, a memorable 5-5 draw occurred at the Hawthorns. While that scoreline again is nearly impossible, it is 12/5 for a share of the spoils.
Louis van Gaal’s men did manage to take a victory in their skipper’s absence last time around, a 2-1 result over Rooney former side Everton at Old Trafford, but largely thanks to superstar Spain stopper David de Gea.
The United number one pulled off a string of out-of-this-world saves throughout, including his most memorable two near the end of the game, and his side are 9/4 chances to take heart from that and win to nil this time.
De Gea will take even more confidence in the fact that defenders Phil jones and Chris Smalling could return, although Northern Irish duo Jonny Evans and Paddy McNair are ruled out.
While defensive problems have been an issue for United this term (they have conceded 10 goals from their first seven games), they have impressed at the other end of the pitch.
The combined attack of the likes of Robin van Persie, Radamel Falcao and Angel Di Maria is enough to scare any opposition in the world of football, and they are evens, evens and 5/4 respectively in the anytime scorer market.
Coral are offering a more enticing special price of 7/2 (maximum stake of £20), if Argentine attacker Di Maria nets anytime and Man Utd win here at The Hawthorns.
West Brom, however, have their very own star in England Under-21 striker Saido Berahino. The Burundi-born frontman already has six goals in all competitions this term for his club, and netted the winner against United last season at Old Trafford. He is 2/1 to score anytime, and 7/1 to be on target last once more.
In terms of injury news, Van Gaal has confirmed that Antonio Valencia and Jesse Lingard are to stay on the sidelines, along with Evans and McNair, while Ander Herrera is a major doubt for a return. For the Baggies, Claudio Yacob will not feature, but captain Chris Brunt looks likely to take some part.