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West Brom v Man Utd: Match Thread

A depleted defence heads off to face the Baggies as United look to maintain it’s position at the top of the table. Everton earning an FA Cup replay against Liverpool hasn’t helped matters for us as we will now have an extra game in January with an already hectic schedule.

Paul Scholes came up with his first XI and, I have to say, I’m surprised Cantona hasn’t even made the bench. Of course, Vida or Jaap Stam losing out to Brown doesn’t make sense to me. But I wouldn’t argue about best United XI’s; it’s someone’s opinion based on the players he’s played with, and he’s certainly in a better position than me to judge. Here’s his first XI:

Schmeichel; G Neville, Ferdinand, Brown, Irwin; Beckham, Keane, Robson (capt), Giggs; Van Nistelrooy, Sheringham.

Substitutes: Ronaldo, Rooney, Tevez, Carrick, Butt, P Neville, Stam.

I also agree with Rob Smyth’s take on it in the Guardian.

Back to today’s game the lads have a good chance of beating Chelsea’s record of going 10 games without conceding. Records always make me happy, but it’s not what I really want today. All I need is a win. And I don’t expect us to waltz through the game either. Considering the injury situation I’d be happy if we can get a goal off Gary Neville’s left ear and win.

But a win is all I ask for. If we break the clean sheet record, great. But it should be only incidental. Reflecting the hunger to win is Paul Scholes:

“It’s great to still be here at this stage of my career. I know the end isn’t far away, but my desire to win things is as strong as ever. I’m at a massive club that demands you win trophies and we’re in a great position to be successful again this season. Hopefully we can see it through.”

Meanwhile Vidic will find out on Friday if he’ll play any part in United’s clash against Inter. His ban could extend upto three matches which beats me because, regardless of what the rules say, the Club World Cup is under the jurisdiction of FIFA and so it must apply to matches that directly come under the purview of FIFA; like Sebia vs Angola, for example.

Anyway, my prediction for today is 1-0 to United. Feel free to add yours below.