United v West Brom: Preview
Ryan Giggs is expected to return to Manchester United's squad for for the Premier League clash with West Brom at Old Trafford. Giggs missed two games with a minor hamstring strain but has now recovered and should be involved as United bid to resurrect their title aspirations. It is also anticipated Wayne Rooney will be recalled, with Sir Alex Ferguson opting not to comment directly over the striker's claim he has not been suffering from an ankle injury, which was cited as the reason for his omission against Valencia and Sunderland. At the start of nine games in 29 days, the past couple of weeks has provided United with some valuable preparation time. "It is unusual to have so many players during an international break but it is very welcome," said Ferguson. "Dimitar Berbatov has retired, Patrice Evra is still suspended by France. The Da Silva brothers were here and Gabriel Obertan, plus the older lads who have also retired, so we had quite a few. "And with a Tuesday match as well it means we have an extra day to get the players prepared. Ferguson accepts the need to be prepared as well. Although United are defending a 100% home record, they remain under pressure because of their failure to win away from Old Trafford. Four straight draws has seen them slip five points adrift of leaders Chelsea and get leapfrogged by Manchester City, so a repeat of Arsenal's home defeat to Roberto Di Matteo's side last month simply cannot be tolerated. "You have to recognise that performance at the Emirates Stadium," said Ferguson. "To score three goals there tells you something. "This will be a tough game, make no mistake." West Brom could be without Premier League player of the month Peter Odemwingie for the game. Striker Odemwingie is struggling to recover from a knee strain, sustained during the Baggies' 1-1 draw against Bolton. Midfielder Jerome Thomas is also a doubt, having missed the Bolton match with a calf injury. Head coach Roberto Di Matteo reported that all of his players involved in international matches have returned unscathed. Manchester United (from): Van der Sar, Kuszczak, O'Shea, Brown, Rafael, Neville, Ferdinand, Vidic, Smalling, Evans, Evra, Fabio, Nani, Obertan, Scholes, Fletcher, Carrick, Gibson, Anderson, Park, Giggs, Rooney, Berbatov, Owen, Macheda, Hernandez. West Bromwich Albion (from): Carson, Olsson, Ibanez, Morrison, Barnes, Bednar, Brunt, Reid, Myhill, Fortune, Dorrans, Shorey, Thomas, Mulumbu, Zuiverloon, Meite, Odemwingie, Fortune, Tchoyi, Scharner, Tamas, Cox, Downing, Sawyers, Jara, Allsop, Kiely. United league form: WDWDD West Brom league form: LDWWD Key opponent: Scott Carson - former England stopper does have ability and is likely to be busy Prediction: United 2 West Brom 0 - the Baggies shocked Arsenal, but if United focus this should be a routine win Agree with the prediction? Have your say. Click here for all the latest odds from Betfred.
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