West Brom v Manchester United preview: Paul Pogba still missing for visitors
Last Updated: 17/12/17 2:00pm
Manchester United will once again be unable to call upon Paul Pogba for their clash with West Brom at The Hawthorns on Sunday, live on Sky Sports Premier League.
The France international will sit out the final game of the three-match ban he picked up after being sent off at Arsenal. In the two games Pogba has missed, Jose Mourinho saw his side lose 2-1 to rivals Manchester City and only defeated Bournemouth in midweek by a single goal.
Romelu Lukaku was back among the goals in that victory on Wednesday, and the United No 9 will be relishing a trip to the West Midlands on Sunday. Lukaku scored a hat-trick the last time he played in this fixture in May 2013, doing so for West Brom in a 5-5 draw at the Hawthorns; no player has ever scored a hat-trick for both clubs in a Premier League fixture.
While United sit 11 points off leaders City in second, West Brom are only out of the bottom three on goal difference. Scoring goals has been the issue, with the Baggies without a goal in their last three games.
In fact, West Brom have failed to score in 17 league matches in 2017, their most in a calendar year since 1985 (also 17); they haven't failed to score in more than 17 since 1971 (20).
Eric Bailly could be out for as long as three months after ankle surgery and there are questions over Marouane Fellaini and Marcos Rojo.
Michael Carrick remains out but the likes of Marcus Rashford, Ander Herrera and Ashley Young may start after being named on the bench against Bournemouth in midweek.
Gareth Barry could return for West Brom after shrugging off a thigh problem. The midfielder has missed the last two games but is fit again and Matt Phillips (hamstring) and Craig Dawson (knee) are close to a comeback but remain doubts.
Nacer Chadli (hip) and James Morrison (Achilles) are definitely out for Alan Pardew at The Hawthorns.
West Bromwich Albion have lost eight of their 11 Premier League games against Manchester United at the Hawthorns (W1 D2).
But after scoring in each of their first 17 Premier League matches against the Baggies - scoring 43 times in the process - Man Utd have failed to score in three of their last five games against them.
No manager has beaten Jose Mourinho more often in the Premier League than Alan Pardew (3) - level with Mark Hughes.
This could be Gareth Barry's 36th Premier League appearance against Manchester United - only one player has faced an opponent more often in Premier League history (Ryan Giggs vs Liverpool, 38).
No goalkeeper has kept more clean sheets since the start of last season with the big five European leagues than David de Gea (24 - level with Jan Oblak).
I thought Manchester United were the only team that could beat Manchester City but I was embarrassed by them last week, I thought they were atrocious. A big team like Manchester United playing at home and just trying to keep the score down. It was really poor.
But are West Brom going to score a goal? It's alright changing managers and saying we are going to do this and that, but what's changed? Nothing.
Manchester United haven't been great, and they were poor again against Bournemouth in midweek, but they will have too much for them.
PAUL PREDICTS: 0-2 (11/2 with Sky Bet)