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Manchester United v West Brom: Preview and prediction

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The first name on the team sheet for Manchester United come 15:00 on Saturday 28 September may well be Wayne Rooney, yet will his form continue?

As predicted in my last column, Manchester United made eight changes for the midweek clash which saw them knock Liverpool out of the Capital One Cup in the third round. This week however, expect the team sheet to head somewhere back to normality. 

Resting the experienced defenders midweek was a must after a lackluster display against Manchester City, to make sure that their next Premier League match, verses West Brom, goes without any hitches. 

Expect David De Gea to start in goal, looking out towards Rafael, Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra.

Chris Smalling has played well in both the last two midweek games, yet Rafael is a likely starter with West Brom not posing too much of a physical threat.

The midfield will likely contain Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini, with an opportunity for the two to gel with the next few Premier League fixtures before the Arsenal clash mid-November.

Not many will second-guess David Moyes with his recent exclusion of Shinji Kagawa from Premier League starting lineups recently, yet expect a Kagawa start this time with Nani on the other flank as Manchester United gear up to full attack mode. 

Robin van Persie will look a likely contender for action after Moyes stated today that he "will be back involved somewhere" and expect Rooney to feature again to try to continue his rich run of form.

Javier Hernandez may start with Van Persie coming off the bench to strike a balance between caution of coming back from injury and reward for Hernandez's goal dismissing Liverpool from the Capital One Cup in midweek. 

Predicted Manchester United line-up:

De Gea; Rafael, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra; Carrick, Fellaini; Kagawa, Nani;  Rooney,  Hernandez.      

Nani enjoyed a dominant and precise display against Liverpool and will switch wings often against West Brom, allowing the full-backs to get involved higher up the pitch and for Kagawa to move into a more central position whilst Rooney has free-reign in the attacking third. This will unlock the WBA defence. 

Score prediction (based upon the lineup being correct): Manchester United 4-1 WBA. 

Expect goals from Kagawa and Hernandez, assists from Kagawa, Rooney and Nani.

Kagawa has come very close in recent games and it looks like a matter of time before he grabs a goal and assist in the same match.

This is an important game to assess the true fitness level of Wayne Rooney as he's played a good level of football and is accumulating minutes on the pitch this season as Moyes calls on him for inspiration. 

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Topics:
West Bromwich Albion
Manchester United
Football
Premier League

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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