West Bromwich Albion - Manchester United Preview: Reds search for fifth straight win

Manchester United take on West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns in a tough match for Louis van Gaal's side.

West Bromwich Albion - Manchester United Preview: Reds
search for fifth straight win
Photo: Harry Robinson/VAVEL UK

Manchester United travel to the Hawthorns to take on a much-improved West Bromwich Albion side, as the Red Devils look to maintain their push for a top-four finish.

United come into the game with a new found confidence after four consecutive wins, which has seen the mood at the club shift to a more positive outlook, with much of the praise going to United’s youngsters.

With several injuries to key figures in the squad, youngsters Marcus Rashford, Guillermo Varela and Timothy Fosu-Mensah, amongst others have all stepped up to the mark to ensure United’s season does not fizzle out.

Not an easy game for United

Ahead of the tie United manager Louis van Gaal is wary of a difficult test at the Hawthorns, in his pre-match press conference the Dutchman said, “we have to beat West Bromwich Albion and that will not be easy.

Last year we played there and we drew 1-1, so it is not an easy opponent, and at home we also lost against them.

United were victorious the last time the sides met earlier in the season as United ran out comfortable winners with a 2-0 victory, as Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata netted for the Red Devils at Old Trafford.

Jesse Lingard scored when United beat West Brom 2-0 earlier in the season (photo source: Mirror.co.uk)

After a 1-0 victory over Watford in midweek, United meet West Brom who have picked up some impressive league form themselves, beating Everton and Crystal Palace, as well as drawing with high-flying Leicester City away from home.

The Baggies are currently 13th in the league and seem to have steered themselves clear of a relegation fight, though come into the game without a victory over United at the Hawthorns in 11 matches (L9, D2).)

With in-form United youngster Rashford, who has scored four goals in three United appearances, looking to continue his form he may yet again make the starting eleven alongside Anthony Martial, who made his return from injury in midweek.

Rashford will be excited at the prospect of facing the Baggies knowing they have kept just one clean sheet in 19 Premier League games against United.

Team news

The Red Devils injury crisis appears to be slowly easing up. Van Gaal could welcome back Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Antonio Valencia and Marouane Fellaini. Michael Carrick could also return after being rested in midweek.

As for the home side, former United defender Jonny Evans looks sure to miss out with a hamstring injury and Chris Brunt is set to be sidelined for six weeks with a knee injury.