Old Trafford table-toppers take on high-flying Baggies.
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson: “The incentive to win is there and in a home match, we always have to think we have got a chance.”
Ashley Young and Danny Welbeck could both be back. The pair missed the Boxing Day win over Newcastle with minor ailments, but Sir Alex Ferguson expects both men to be available. Shinji Kagawa (knee) may also be involved for the first time since October, but Wayne Rooney (knee) and Phil Jones miss out and veterans Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes are expected to be rested.
Manchester United (from): Lindegaard, De Gea, Smalling, Vidic, Wootton, Ferdinand Evans, Buttner, Evra, Cleverley, Giggs, Fletcher, Scholes, Tunnicliffe, Carrick, Kagawa, Young, Hernandez, Welbeck, Van Persie.
West Bromwich Albion assistant head coach Keith Downing: “It’s all about grit and determination in the festive period and we have shown that.”
Defenders Jonas Olsson (groin) and Goran Popov (hamstring) and midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu (hamstring) all sustained injuries during the Boxing Day win at QPR. Another midfielder in Claudio Yacob (hamstring) remains sidelined and as a result Albion have recalled George Thorne from a loan spell at Peterborough.
West Brom (from): Foster, Myhill, Daniels, Jones, Reid, McAuley, Olsson, Tamas, Dawson, Ridgewell, Popov, Mulumbu, Dorrans, Thorne, Brunt, Morrison, Gera, Odemwingie, Fortune, Long, Lukaku, Rosenberg.
Referee: Jon Moss; Assistants: A Garratt, C Breakspear; Fourth official: P Dowd.
SOURCE: Official Premier League
Smalling, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra
Valencia, Carrick, Cleverley, Giggs
Van Persie, Chicharito
Jones, Olsson, McAuley, Ridgewell
Odemwingie, Gera, Brunt
Manchester United have never lost to West Brom in the Premier League (W10, D2).
West Brom’s last league win over United was back in 1984. The Baggies’ last victory at Old Trafford was a 5-3 triumph on 30 December 1978.
United have won six of their last seven Premier League games.
They have come from behind to win eight times in this season’s Premier League. Those comeback wins account for 24 of their 46 points (52%). They have conceded the first goal 11 times in the top flight this season.
The Red Devils have scored in each of their last 58 Premier League home matches – an all-time record and longest home scoring streak by any top-flight club since Wolves’ 75-match run from 1956 to 1959.
Robin van Persie is the top league scorer in 2012 with 26 goals. He is set be only the second player to be the top Premier League scorer in consecutive calendar years, having scored 35 goals in 2011. The only other player to achieve this feat was Alan Shearer three years in a row from 1994 to 1996.
The Baggies have won three of their last five away league games. Only Manchester United can claim better away form over the last five matches.
West Brom are looking for a third consecutive Premier League win in a row, having won four on the trot last month.
In contrast to Manchester United, the Baggies have won just one match after falling behind this season – that was against Norwich a fortnight ago. They have lost on all four occasions when they have trailed at half-time.
West Brom have 33 points, their highest-ever tally at the halfway stage of a Premier League season. In each of their last three top-flight seasons, they have had a better record in the second half of the season.
SOURCE: BBC Sport
Highlights of this encounter can be found on site shortly after the final whistle.
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