BREAKING NEWS: Manchester United’s injury woes worsen as Juan Mata has surgery for a groin injury
As we return from an eventful international break, Manchester United return to Premier League action on Saturday at 3pm to face West Brom at Old Trafford. Hoping to make it 19 games unbeaten and take a step closer to the top 4, Mourinho’s men need to start April off with a win and three points. With another busy month of fixtures coming up, it is crucial that we start as we mean to go on.
Our opponents this weekend are West Brom, who currently sit three places behind us in 8th and are on course for their highest finish in over 30 years. West Brom went into the international break in great spirit after beating Arsenal 3-1 at The Hawthorns. This impressive result is sure to give them a confidence boost coming into this game.
This weekend we might see some different faces play for United. Since Mourinho’s arrival it’s been clear that he likes to stick with the same players and rotate the squad between them, but with our current injury crisis, it’s only a matter of time before he turns to some youngsters.
Ibrahimovic and Ander Herrera serve domestic bans for United, whist Paul Pogba is still unavailable due to a hamstring injury. This international break was not great for us as Phil Jones and Chris Smalling sustained “long-term injuries”, forcing them to return home early from the England squad. Another potential casualty of the international break is Marouane Fellaini who picked up a knock on international duty with Belgium. The midfielder would’ve been guaranteed to play against West Brom after his good performance against Middlesbrough, where he also managed to get a goal.
With three of our best central midfielders potentially unavailable, it will be interesting to see who Mourinho turns to. He could resort to Fosu Mensah and allow him to prove his quality. Another issue is the defence. With Mourinho recently having converted to three CBs with wing backs, will he have enough defenders to fill the positions? Alex Tuanzebe is another keen and top quality product of our youth academy who is more than capable of stepping up to the plate. Also, Luke Shaw may return to the starting 11 after spending most of the season on the sidelines.
In our last three fixtures against The Baggies at Old Trafford, we have lost two and only won one, proving that they are a tough team to break and how easy it is to get hit on the counter attack. Also, another thing we must be cautious of is set pieces. West Brom have scored more goals with defenders than any other team this season, showing just how good they are in the air. With Jones and Smalling out for this crucial fixture, we can only hope that Fellaini will be declared match fit and will be able to combat the height of West Brom.
Overall, it’s fair to say that this game will be a big challenge. West Brom may not have the individual quality of Chelsea or Man City but they are tactically exceptional and are a very well-drilled side. Let’s hope Jose and the boys will be able to do enough to snatch the win!