United v West Brom: The essential info
Manchester United return to the bread-and-butter of Premier League football on Saturday evening, with a home fixture against Slaven Bilic’s West Bromwich Albion.
It’s our first meeting with the Baggies since April 2018, as the West Midlanders are back in the big time after spending the last two seasons in the Championship.
And it’s a crunch encounter for both sides, with the Reds looking to end a poor run of form at home and Bilic’s men keen to secure a first win of the season, at the ninth attempt. Here’s your complete guide to the game…
Kick-off is at 20:00 GMT and fans in the UK can watch the action live on BT Sport. Supporters can also follow our rolling updates on ManUtd.com and within our Official App, while MUTV will provide live build-up from 18:55 GMT, followed by radio commentary and post-match reaction. The channel will show a rerun of the full game the following day.
Both sides will start the match in the lower reaches of the Premier League table, with United 14th on 10 points, albeit having played a game less than most other clubs, and West Brom 18th, after three draws and five losses from their opening eight matches. The Baggies were convincingly beaten by Leicester and Everton in their first two fixtures back in the top flight, but then took three points from the next four, including a thrilling 3-3 draw at home to Chelsea, when they’d been three goals to the good at half-time. Last time out, Bilic’s men were unlucky to fall to a 1-0 defeat to Tottenham at The Hawthorns, with Harry Kane scoring late on.
Luke Shaw (thigh) and Phil Jones (knee) are definitely sidelined for the Reds, while Marcus Rashford’s availability is in question after he was forced to pull out of the England squad after suffering a shoulder injury during our last outing, at Everton. However, Alex Telles could make his long-awaited league debut after recovering from COVID-19 and featuring for Brazil during the international break.
Three West Brom players have recently tested positive for coronavirus. Former Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic and playmaker Matheus Pereira missed the Spurs game before the break, having been in self-isolation, while forward Callum Robinson contracted the virus while on international duty with the Republic of Ireland. The trio are not totally out of contention for Saturday, however, and both Hal Robson-Kanu (elbow) and Sam Field (knee) could return.
ONE TO WATCH
West Brom fans will be hoping and praying that Robinson and Pereira are passed fit to play, with the the pair directly involved in four of the Baggies’ six Premier League goals so far in 2020/21. Robinson, who joined from Sheffield United in the summer after a spell on loan, notched a double in that humdinger against Chelsea, with his opener assisted by Pereira. The former Sporting midfielder was also snapped up ahead of this campaign, after impressing in a temporary stint last term; he cracked home an unstoppable free-kick at Goodison Park in September.
Elsewhere, there are several familiar faces in the West Midlanders’ line-up, including Ivanovic, ex-Arsenal full-back Kieran Gibbs and goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, once of this parish. Johnstone never featured for United’s senior team, but was between the sticks for our 2011 FA Youth Cup victory, featuring Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard.
LAST TIME OUT
West Brom’s last visit to Old Trafford is one United fans would rather forget – Jay Rodriguez’s second-half strike was enough to secure a 1-0 victory and, with it, the title for Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City. In fact, while the Reds have beaten the Baggies 15 times in the Premier League era, including in each of the last two games at The Hawthorns, only six of those victories have come in M16 – the last was a 2-0 triumph in the 2015/16 season, courtesy of strikes from Lingard and Juan Mata.
Referee: David Coote
Assistants: Lee Betts, Nick Hopton
Fourth official: Martin Atkinson
VAR: Peter Bankes
Assistant VAR: Andy Halliday
SATURDAY 21 NOVEMBER
Newcastle v Chelsea (12:30 GMT)
Aston Villa v Brighton (15:00 GMT)
Tottenham v Manchester City (17:30 GMT)
UNITED v West Brom (20:00 GMT)
SUNDAY 22 NOVEMBER
Fulham v Everton (12:00 GMT)
Sheffield United v West Ham (14:00 GMT)
Leeds v Arsenal (16:30 GMT)
Liverpool v Leicester (19:15 GMT)
MONDAY 23 NOVEMBER
Burnley v Crystal Palace (17:30 GMT)
Wolves v Southampton (20:00 GMT)
Get set for Saturday's game: our 20/21 home kit is available from United Direct.