FOOTBALL NEWS

27/12/2012 13:26, Report by Ben Hibbs
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Preview: WBA

Date, time and coverage: Saturday 29 December, 15:00 GMT. There’s no live TV coverage in the UK. Follow the action live via ManUtd.com’s radio and text commentary.

Form guide: The Reds won a blow-for-blow Boxing Day battle with Newcastle to move seven points clear of Manchester City at the top of the Barclays Premier League table, with the Blues losing 1-0 at Sunderland. West Brom come to Old Trafford in sixth place having arrested a run of adverse results coming into December. A pair of 2-1 wins, against Norwich and QPR, maintain Steve Clarke’s side’s excellent showing in the first half of the season. The Reds have won nine and drawn two of the last 11 clashes with the Baggies.

Betting: As expected, the Reds are clear favourites to win, with bwin offering odds of just 3/10 for a home win, while the Baggies are 8/1 for an away victory. If you fancy a healthy Reds success, then a 3-0 United win comes in at odds of 29/4, while a more closely contested 2-1 triumph is 15/2.

Ins and outs: Sir Alex is again likely to shuffle the pack in terms of team selection, especially with niggling injuries to contend with. Wayne Rooney is definitely out with a knee injury, while doubts remain over the fitness or availability of Ashley Young, Phil Jones, Danny Welbeck, Rafael, Nemanja Vidic, Nani, Anderson and Shinji Kagawa – although the Japanese midfielder joined in the warm-up against Newcastle. West Brom have a comparatively healthy squad; Claudio Yacob (hamstring) and Steven Reid (bruised shin) both missed the last two games.

Last meeting: The Reds won both encounters last term – a 2-1 away win in August, and a 2-0 triumph in March during an excellent spell of league form as United appeared destined for title glory. Rooney scored three of those four goals,

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