By Andy Hyslop
- Manchester United look to head into latest International break on winning note
- Young set to continue at right-back with Valencia injured and Darmian suspended
- Schneiderlin a doubt due to illness
Manchester United will be looking to head into the latest International break on a winning note, having previously lost at Swansea and Arsenal prior to International breaks this season.
United’s opponents on Saturday are West Brom. Who will be well organised as any Tony Pulis side are. This fixture last season saw United dominate the game but fail to score, eventually losing the game 1-0 to a deflected free-kick.
That sounds like a familiar story United in recent weeks. They have dominated possession in the majority of games this season but on several occasions have failed to find the back of their opponents net. Before Tuesday nights 1-0 win over CSKA Moscow, United had failed to score in three previous games.
This run of games, has seen Van Gaal and United criticised in many quarters for their uninspiring football in which they dominate possession against the majority of opponents but at times struggle to test the opposing goalkeeper.
United currently sit fourth in the Premier League table, four points off leaders City and Arsenal. A win for United against West Brom could see United close the gap at the top depending on City and Arsenal’s results against Aston Villa and Tottenham respectively.
Manchester united have several injury doubts going into this game. The majority of these are in a defensive area, with McNair and Valencia joining Shaw on the sidelines.
McNair is still suffering with the abdominal strain he picked whilst helping Northern Ireland confirm their place at Euro 2016 during the last International break. Whilst Valencia is still struggling with the foot injury he picked up against City.
Also in a defensive area, Darmian will miss the game through suspension after picking up his fifth booking of the season against Crystal Palace. Meaning Ashley Young is likely to continue at left-back.
French midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin is a doubt after missing the midweek Champions League game against Moscow with illness. he has trained this week but Van Gaal may opt to go with Schweinsteiger and Carrick once again. Schneiderlin will probably have to settle for a place on the bench.
Young striker James Wilson is also likely to miss this game with a knock he picked against Middlesbrough in the League Cup defeat.
West Brom currently sit in 12th place in the Premier League table with 14 points. From their 11 league games so far, they have won four, drawn two and lost five.
Their last six games have seen knocked out of the League Cup at the third round stage, losing 3-0 to Norwich. They suffered a 3-2 home defeat to Everton despite being 2-0 up. Next up they travelled to Crystal Palace losing out 2-0. They then got back-to-back 1-0 wins over Sunderland and Norwich before losing out 3-2 to Leicester in their last game.
West Brom have several ex-reds in their ranks including Jonny Evans and Darren Fletcher. who could have stayed in the comfort zone at Old Trafford. They may not have been playing but may players seem happy to stay at club despite not playing and just pick up their wages.
West Brom will be missing ex-United keeper Ben Foster, who is currently out with a knee injury, though Pulis has said he getting closer to a return to training. They also have a doubt over experienced Northern Ireland International Chris Brunt.
It is expected that West Brom will approach this game in the same way as they did last year. Like any Tony Pulis team, they will be well organised with focus on the defensive side of the game, with the onus on United to break down a team that will have everyone behind the ball.