By Andy Hyslop
- United looking to continue recent good form
- Rashford, Varela and Fosu-Mensah have impressed in recent games
- Injured players are coming back slowly
Manchester United travel to West Brom on Sunday looking to continue their recent run of good results in three different competitions.
Wednesday nights 1-0 victory over Watford saw United bringing themselves back in to the race for a top four finish, that victory brought United level on points with 4th place City after their defeat to Liverpool.
The crippling injury list at Old Trafford has seen Van Gaal promote several youngsters to the United first-team. all these boys have impressed and haven’t let United down when asked to do a job.
With players now returning from injury, this will give Van Gaal more options in his team selection.
Van Gaal may not have any further players back from injury for the encounter at The Hawthorns but is hopeful to have several players back in the coming weeks.
Valencia, Fellaini and Jones have all returned to first-team training in recent days but won’t be rushed back by the manager. With all three likely to feature in the under-21s before returning to first-team action.
Michael Carrick is likely to be involved against West Brom after being rested for the victory over Watford. Carrick may be required at centre-half again depending on the fitness of Smalling.
We believe that we will probably see pretty much the same team that started the game against Watford. We are guessing that Van Gaal may make two changes from that starting line-up.
Those changes will probably see the return of Carrick, probably at centre-half with doubts over the fitness of Smalling. Varela is likely to continue at right-back despite the return of Darmian.
The only other change we are predicting is for Lingard to return in place of Rashford. Rashford has impressed with four goals in three starts but may be better option from the bench for this game.
West Brom come in to this game 13th in the Premier League table after good run of results that has seen them win against Everton and Crystal Palace, while drawing 2-2 with league leaders Leicester on Tuesday night.
West Brom have been rocked by the news this week that Northern Ireland International Chris Brunt will be out for six months after damaging his anterior cruciate ligament in the 3-2 win over Palace.
This is bad news for the club but devastating for the player, as he will miss this summers European Championships after helping his country qualify.
West Brom have several former United players in their ranks, most notably Darren Fletcher and Jonny Evans. Both have proved their good Premier League players after struggling to perform to their best abilities in their final seasons at Old Trafford.