View from the opposition: A Baggies take ahead of their game against the Red Devils

View from the opposition: A Baggies take ahead of their game against the Red Devils

VAVEL UK's West Bromwich Albion editor Neil Leverett previews Saturday's visit of Manchester United

Danial_Kennedy
Danial Kennedy

Manchester United will be hoping that can carryon  their resurgence on Saturday evening, but will face a tough test when they travel to the Hawthorns to take on an in-form West Bromwich Albion side.

Jose Mourinho's side have two wins in a row, after their narrow 2-1 win over Crystal Palace on Wednesday. However the Baggies have four wins in their last six, which has seen them climb up to seventh, just four points behind United.

It is set to be a tough clash at the Hawthorns, and ahead of the game VAVEL UK's West Brom editor Neil Leverett has previewed the match between the two sides.

Q1. What have you made of West Brom's form this season?

NL: Pleasantly surprised I must say. There's been a lot a discontent regarding Saido Berahino's ongoing dispute with the club. Salomon Rondon is an extremely able centre-forward but with little support for him in an attacking role, there must have been concerns as to where the goals were going to come from.

Tony Pulis has got the balance just right now it seems, sitting comfortably in the top half. The manager must take huge credit for unleashing a new brand of more attacking play with a 4-2-3-1 system that many fans simply did not expect to see, whilst keeping a well disciplined unit.

If The Baggies were to win on Saturday evening - like last term - just one point would separate our two clubs.....  

Q2. What players have shone this term and who should we look out for this weekend?

NL: As documented, the big Venezuelan continues to shine in the Premier League. Rondon has now notched seven league goals - just two short of his entire season tally last term. Manchester United will know all about his threat, having scored the winner in March at The Hawthorns.

The Baggies are in fine form at the moment. Photo: Getty/Matthew Lewis
The Baggies are in fine form at the moment. Photo: Getty/Matthew Lewis

It is not just the striker who has shone. When Brendan Galloway joined on loan from Everton, the full-back looked to be an excellent piece of short-term business. It has been Allan Nyom however who has become a surprise package once more in the top flight.

What the Cameroonian brought to Watford with his eye for a pass and strength has again been witnessed in the West Midlands. In turn, the performances of Nyom have allowed the returning Chris Brunt to take up a more natural midfield role. 

The Northern Irishman is now deployed on the right of an attacking midfield trio, opposite the equally impressive Matt Phillips. Between the two of them, West Brom have amassed four goals and nine assists so far. Against Jose Mourinho's side, we can expect more of the same.

 

Q3. What tactics and team are you expecting on Saturday?

NL: Pulis in unlikely to change very little from the win versus Swansea. Nacer Chadli should keep James Morrison on the bench as a plan B should it be required, but a line of Phillips, Chadli, Brunt will be tough for United to handle on current form.

In the past, The Baggies have looked to soak up pressure and counter, but with the current run the club are on, Pulis will be criticised for a more defensive approach this weekend. With Pulis however, you can never be too sure.

A man your fans will know all too well in Jonny Evans should return from a knock to replace Jonas Olsson, so that is probably the only change to expect. Former Red Devil Darren Fletcher has been on his game this season and will want to give Pogba a test of his mettle.

Q4. Finally, a prediction?

NL. I'm never confident against United, but the way we are playing right now, we have goals in us. Granted I think you will score, but so will we. 

Prediction: 2-2

Manchester United will take on West Brom at The Hawthorns on Saturday, December 17 with kick-off at 5:30pm GMT.

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