Football

West Bromwich Albion Vs Manchester United, Sat 1 Jan 2011

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West Brom have a defensive crisis ahead of the home match against Barclays Premier League leaders Manchester United.

Gabriel Tamas and Gonzalo Jara are both suspended, while Jonas Olsson is back in training but has not recovered fully from his Achilles injury.

Gianni Zuiverloon has been recalled from a loan spell at Ipswich, though, and midfielder Chris Brunt will return to the team after serving a suspension.

Boss Roberto Di Matteo has said keeping his team in the top flight would be the greatest achievement of his career.

Di Matteo, who won 34 caps for Italy and scored the quickest ever cup final goal at the old Wembley stadium, believes maintaining Premier League status this season would eclipse those honours.

"It would be in top spot," he said.

"I would love to stay in the Premier League - it would be an absolute gift for everybody involved."

Sir Alex Ferguson may resist the temptation to draft Nani straight back into his United starting line-up.

The Portugal wing man has missed the Christmas programme so far due to a minor hip complaint and although he is now training, Ferguson is thinking about keeping him out until the clash with Stoke next Tuesday.

Darren Fletcher is amongst those expecting a recall at The Hawthorns as United look to secure only their second away win this season.

Fletcher is confident away-day draws will soon start turning into victories.

The Scot said: "We are confident we will turn these performances into wins and go on a winning run, which we will need to if we are going to win the league.

"We have played well at some hard places but have conceded late goals that have tainted good performances.

"It shows the concentration levels have to be there. There have been a lot of shock results in the Premier League, which proves you need to be fully switched on for 90 minutes."

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