Sunday, April 15 – 4:00p.m Local time – Old Trafford, Manchester, United Kingdom
The Manchester derby lived up to the hype as one of the most trilling, end-to-end football matches of the season.
For the neutrals and perhaps the red side of Manchester, it was a game for the ages, as it delivered in a five-goal thriller.
It could have been one for the ages for Manchester City, who passed up a once in a lifetime opportunity of securing the title against their most antagonistic of opponents. All City had to do was to win the match in order to attain champion status in front of their most-adored admirers. The Citizens stayed true to the dream and stuck to the plot, as club captain Vincent Kompany shook the foundations of the Etihad with a powerful header in the 25th minute.
Ilkay Gundogan doubled the advantage five minutes later with a low finish after a clever turn that caught United flatfooted, much to the adulation of the home crowd.
The visitors were staring down the barrel of a second defeat of the season against City, who now had a spring in their step, as they graciously inched closer to their first Premier League title under Pep Guardiola.
That may have perhaps given the hosts a false sense of security, as the game utterly and completely turned on its head.
United, who had started the match rather worryingly, gained a foothold in the game with one of the most impressive second half displays in recent times.
Paul Pogba, a player who had been at the centre of claims in the build up to the match over his proposed move to Manchester City in January, put up a swashbuckling display that may very well have doubled his £89m valuation.
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Whatever advice Jose Mourinho gave the team at the break worked to full effect, as Manchester United gave meaning to a game of two halves with a near-faultless second half performance that produced three scintillating goals and pinched the result, delaying City’s celebrations.
United are second on the table with 71 points, 13 points behind leaders City, who could clinch the Premier League title with a victory away to Tottenham Hotspur this weekend.
The title may be long gone and a place in next season’s Champions League may assuredly be sealed, but Jose Mourinho will expect nothing short of a fine performance when he lines up his side against West Bromwich Albion on Sunday.
The Baggies have spent considerably long at the foot of the Premier League in a season that has seen the club managed by Tony Pulis, Gary Megson, Alan Pardew and Darren Moore.
Moore, the currently caretaker manager, ended West Brom’s deplorable run of eight straight defeats, after his side registered a one-all draw at home to Swansea in his first match in charge. Holland legend Patrick Kluivert has been identified as a potential managerial replacement on a permanent basis, as the club work towards initiating a turnaround in the summer.
At the moment though the trip to Old Trafford is all that matters; the match being one of three harsh fixtures before the close of the season, as the Baggies still have to play against Liverpool and Spurs.
Sergio Romero remains sidelined with a knee injury for Manchester United while Phil Jones has overcome his injury, but may be lacking the deftness of touch to push for a start.
It doesn’t help that West Brom have a huge injury list ahead of the trip to Old Trafford. The Baggies will be without Gareth Barry (knee) and James Morrison (calf), whereas Daniel Sturridge (thigh), Jonny Evans (knee), Hal Robson-Kanu (head) and Nacer Chadli remain out of the fixture.
Romelu Lukaku odds and specials
|Best Bet||Odds||Bet Now|
|Lukaku to score anytime||$1.75 at WilliamHill||Place Bet|
|Lukaku to score anytime/United to win||$1.80 at WilliamHill||Place Bet|
Romelu Lukaku has been directly involved in 15 goals in all competitions since the year began; with 11 goals and four assists to his name.
Other than his recent accomplishment of becoming the fifth youngest player to reach a century of Premier League goals, the Belgium international has an impressive run against teams in the bottom half of the League and should as such, have a field day against his former side.
Man United vs. West Brom Match prediction
Man United need a huge result in the build up to their inherent season decider against Tottenham in the FA Cup semi-final next weekend.
Seeing as they are coming off a huge win in the local derby and with little injury concerns, things could turn ugly for the visitors.
- Man United to win – -555.56 on William Hill
- Total match goals over 2.5 – -163.93 on William Hill
Man United vs. West Brom recent results
West Brom 1-2 Man united (December 17, 2017)
Gareth Barry 77′
Romelu Lukaku 27′
Jesse Lingard 35′
Man united 0-0 West Brom (April 1, 2017)
West Brom 0-2 Man united (December 17, 2016)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic 5′, 36′
West Brom 1-0 Man united (December 17, 2016)
Salomon Rondon 66′
Man united 2-0 West Brom (November 7, 2015)
Jesse Lingard 52′
Juan Mata 90’+1
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