English Premiership

Preview: West Brom v Man United

2014-10-20 11:03
Louis van Gaal (Supplied)
Louis van Gaal (Supplied)
Cape Town - Manchester United will be chasing a third win on the spin when they make the journey to the Hawthorns to face West Brom on Monday night.

The Red Devils made a slow start to proceedings under new manager Louis van Gaal, recording just one victory in their opening five Premier League matches.

However, Van Gaal's side bounced back from the disappointing 5-3 reverse at Leicester with back-to-back 2-1 wins over West Ham and Everton in their last two outings.

Another three-point haul would take fifth-placed United back into the top-four, behind early pace-setters Chelsea, Manchester City and Southampton.

The Baggies will be looking to avoid a second successive defeat after they were beaten 2-1 at Liverpool last time out, which came on the back of two consecutive wins, over Tottenham and Burnley.

Alan Irvine's side sit just one point clear of the drop zone in 14th position, tied on eight with the three teams directly below them in the standings.

Irvine will be hoping that his captain Chris Brunt manages to shake off a groin injury, which he sustained whilst on international duty with Northern Ireland.

The hosts could also be without striker Victor Anichebe, who has been hampered by a hernia problem all season, having spent time recuperating in the United States.

On-loan FC Porto winger Silvestre Varela is on the mend after undergoing groin surgery, but he is still some way off from a first-team return.

The visitors will definitely be without their skipper Wayne Rooney, who is suspended for the trip to the West Midlands.

Rooney is serving the second game of a three-match ban following his straight red card against the Hammers before the international break.

But United's injury woes have eased some with Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Ander Herrera, Michael Carrick and Ashley Young all back in contention for recalls after their respective problems.

Their injury list, though, still includes Jonny Evans (foot), Paddy McNair (hamstring), Jesse Lingard (knee) and Antonio Valencia (hamstring).

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