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Manchester United vs West Bromwich Albion: Match Preview

With another round of international fixtures over, the focus again returns to the Premier League and Manchester United host West Brom at Old Trafford in game that will be far from an easy victory.

United’s form of late has been very patchy with successive away draws but at home a 100% record is in tact. But West Brom are a side in good form with manager Roberto Di Matteo winning manager of the month for October after a string of impressive results.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is certainly not taking the game lightly,

“I think they had a bad game losing 6-0 to Chelsea right away but since then their form has been very good,” said Sir Alex. ?

“They have drawn with Sunderland at home, beaten Birmingham in the local derby and then they went to Arsenal and won 3-2.”

“That is good form and they’re playing attractive football so we expect a tough game. We have got to recognise their performance at the Emirates, three goals against Arsenal tells you something. We just need to make sure we perform properly.”

To make sure we do perform properly team selection will be key in ensuring three points are taken from the game and it was reported earlier in the week that Owen Hargreaves could make a comeback against the Baggies but Sir Alex has refuted those claims as he said Hargreaves will not feature as he has a calf injury.

Ji-Sung Park missed the Korean Republic’s draw with Japan due to a minor knee problem and remains a doubt for the match.

Ryan Giggs could make the bench as he recovers from a slight hamstring knock, but the main selection topic will be whether or not Wayne Rooney makes the starting line-up.

The striker missed the matches against Valencia and Sunderland with a supposed ankle injury, though Rooney himself has said he was fit for both games, something that will surely irk Ferguson.

If selected, Gary Neville will be making his 600th appearance for Manchester United.

West Brom will be looking for their first win at Old Trafford in 32 years and their last win over United in any competition came in the League Cup fourth round in December 2003, while United have won 11 of the last 12 matches between the two, the other was a draw.

Di Matteo is wary of United and expects a tough game, and feels he has the players to cause us problems,

“We are a team with some individually good players, and we know the importance of those players, but I think we try to win as a team,” he said.

“That’s the only way forward for us. We will still try to be competitive.”

“We go in with belief, and if the opposition has a better day or is stronger than us than we’ll have to deal with that,” he concluded.

The Baggies could go into the match with key player Peter Odemwingie as the striker struggling to shake off a knee injury picked up against Bolton.

Jerome Thomas is also a doubt for the clash with a calf problem, but there should be no other injury problems for the away side.

One issue that could worry United fans would be the fact that we have attempted just three shots on target in our last two competitive matches, something that will need to be addressed if three points are to be secured.

Prediction: 2-1 United

Probable Line Up: van der Sar, Rafael, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Nani, Fletcher, Scholes, Anderson; Hernandez, Berbatov