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United vs WBA: the bus arrives at Old Trafford

Club-Brugge-vs-Man-UnitedIt would probably be fair to argue that in a world where a photograph of an avocado is the most popular image on the internet, there clearly isn’t enough bleach on this planet. If there were we’d have culled the human race and successfully wiped out over population.

There isn’t and we haven’t, which goes a long way in explaining why grown men would boo their own team at a football match. There has been a lot of frustration at United of recent and much of it is justified, however it is hard to justify turning on your own team and manager in the way the Old Trafford crowd did on Tuesday.

The football hasn’t been phenomenal, things haven’t been helped by those in the media spotlight sounding off every eight seconds. But fans were spoiled under Ferguson, ludicrously so. People moaned when Fergie was in charge and United were winning titles, it is inevitable they’ll moan now.

Fans should pause for perspective. United are top of their Champions league group, haven’t conceded in five games and are still challenging for the title. It’s hardly James McClean setting fire to a poppy field while riding Cecil the lion on Cilla Black’s tombstone.

So this weekend brings another game where the opponent will park the bus and United will struggle to break them down. West Brom will be a challenge on Saturday, United have a lot to prove after being beaten at home by them in the last two seasons.

Slowly but surely United are improving, the progress is there and the success will follow.

Manchester United team news

Louis Van Gaal was very coy over injury news during his press conference on Friday. The Dutchman left the press room full of ambiguity with his answers.

Morgan Schneiderlin could return after missing training through illness but Van Gaal refused to rule him out for Saturday. Antonio Valencia will miss the fixture through an ankle injury and Matteo Darmian is suspended, which means Ashley young is likely to deputise at right-back again.

West Brom team news

West Brom have “one or two” doubts ahead of Saturday although head coach Tony Pulis wouldn’t reveal the who.

James Morrison could start after returning from injury as a substitute against Leicester last weekend.

Key men

There is no doubt about the kind of game spectators will get on Saturday. Tony Pulis will have his side well regimented, disciplined and difficult to break down. This is exactly what United find most difficult to play against.

Van Gaal admitted on Friday how much easier his sides find it playing against teams that come to attack, West Brom will not be playing into his hands.

With this in mind the onus unfortunately falls on the attacking players to perform. This United side has shown themselves to be solid at the back, excellent at retaining possession in midfield and woeful up front.

The recurring issue is that United struggle to get in behind teams. A player who has shown signs of providing the trickery and pace United are screaming out for is Jesse Lingard.

 The winger is young, inexperienced and still uncut but Jesse has proved himself to cause problems for defences. Unfortunate not grab a goal in the derby and the creator of United’s only goal in against CSKA this talented forward could be the solution for the drought and key throughout the season.

Predicted starting XI

William Dawson