West Brom v Man Utd

30 December 2010 04:52
West Brom have defensive worries, with Gabriel Tamas and Gonzalo Jara both suspended and Paul Scharner is a doubt with illness.Gianni Zuiverloon has been recalled from his loan spell at Ipswich, while Albion also welcome back midfielder Chris Brunt after a one-match ban.

Nani could return to the Manchester United starting line-up after a hip problem.

Fellow midfielder Park Ji-Sung is on Asian Cup duty with South Korea.

West Brom

Suspended: Jara (one match), Tamas (three matches)

Doubtful: Scharner (illness)

Injured: Olsson (Achilles)

Man Utd

Injured/unavailable: Hargreaves (hamstring), O'Shea (calf), Park (international duty), Scholes (groin), Valencia (ankle)

MATCH PREVIEW Sir Alex Ferguson enters his 70th year on 31 December but will no doubt be happy to delay the celebration 24 hours if the three points that should keep Manchester United top of the table are among the presents.

I always say if we get to that top position on New Year's Day, then we've always got a great chance [of winning the title] Man Utd manager Sir Alex Ferguson Still unbeaten in this season's Premier League, United are making a quick return to the West Midlands, where they slipped up at Birmingham on Tuesday. They will be expecting to make amends, given that the Hawthorns has been a profitable hunting ground in the past for the Red Devils.

It has been a pointless and thus miserable Christmas for West Brom, who have now lost three games on the trot.

But at least Albion are in a better state of affairs than the last time they went into New Year as a Premier League side, when they were bottom of the table and went on to be relegated.

And Baggies followers will also surely find comfort in the fact that despite there being only six clubs below them, three of them are the other West Midlands teams.

MATCH FACTS Head-to-head

• United have won four of the last five league games between the teams but were held 2-2 at Old Trafford earlier this season after leading 2-0 at half-time.

• United have won on their last six league visits to the Hawthorns, a run stretching back to 1984.

• Man Utd did the double over West Brom in the Baggies' most recent season in the top flight (2008/09), scoring nine goals without reply - that included a 5-0 drubbing at the Hawthorns.

Have your say on Saturday's match West Brom

• West Brom have lost seven of their last 10 league games, including the last three (W2 D1 L7)

• The Baggies have kept only one clean sheet in this season's Premier League - against Sunderland on 21 August. No Premier League team have conceded more goals than the 34 they have shipped this season.

• West Brom have had six red cards in this season's Premier League, more than any other team.

Man Utd

• United have won only one of their eight Premier League away matches this season - at Stoke in October.

• Sir Alex Ferguson's side are unbeaten in their last 13 Premier League away matches but have drawn seven of their last eight. Their last away defeat was a 3-1 loss at Everton in February.

Wayne Rooney has not scored a club goal from open play since March. Dimitar Berbatov has scored eight goals in his last three Premier League matches.


West Brom

Odemwingie: 6 goals (6 league); Tchoyi: 4 goals (3 league)

Manchester United

Berbatov 15 goals (14 league); Hernandez 7 goals (4 league)

LAST LEAGUE MATCH LINE-UPS West Brom (L1-3 v Blackburn, h): Carson, Jara (Barnes 74), Scharner, Tamas, Shorey, Tchoyi, Mulumbu, Morrison (Cox 66), Dorrans, Thomas, Odemwingie. Subs Not Used: Myhill, Cech, Pablo, Miller, Reid.

Man Utd (D1-1 v Birmingham, a): Van der Sar, Rafael Da Silva, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Gibson (Hernandez 90), Carrick, Anderson (Fletcher 73), Giggs, Berbatov, Rooney. Subs Not Used: Kuszczak, Neville, Evans, Obertan, Macheda.

Source: BBC_Sport