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Back Manchester United To Record Away Win on New Year’s Day

Premiership Tips previews Manchester United’s trip to West Brom on new year’s day.

Much has been made of Manchester United’s away record this season; picking up just 1 victory from 8 away games. But for switching off at the end of a couple of those games they could have had more points on the board. Lee Bowyer and Birmingham City were the latest to snatch a late equaliser against Manchester United. Fulham and Everton did the same earlier this season.

Manchester United aren’t playing as overwhelmingly as has been made out this season. They are doing enough to get the job done and currently lie top of the league. Brian Kidd the latest to say the Premier League is Manchester United’s to lose from this position.

Since winning at the Emirates Stadium and drawing at Old Trafford, it’s been downhill for West Brom since. Their latest was a 3-1 home defeat at the hands of Blackburn Rovers midweek; handing Steve Kean his first win as Rovers manager.

West Brom were wasteful in defeat at Bolton on boxing day, and were simply poor at home to Blackburn a few days later. If Blackburn can win at the Hawthorns, there’s no reason why Manchester United cannot. Albion will be without the suspended Gabriel Tamas and Gonzalo Jara, while Jonas Olsson remains out injured. That is three first team defenders missing for West Brom, who face the league’s top goalscorer in Dimitar Berbatov. Wayne Rooney is hungry for a goal and this could be the game to get the monkey off his back.

The absense of Nani with flu has been a loss for Manchester United over Christmas, and should he not feature on new year’s day either, the creativity in midfield must come from Ryan Giggs, Anderson and Darron Gibson. All have looked lively recently; Gibson setting up Berbatov’s goal at Birmingham. Rooney himself will drop back and look to create from midfield.

West Brom have their own creative midfielder of their own in Chris Brunt, whom is joint-leader in the Premier League with Nani on 10 assists. He could have had a few more but for the wasteful Peter Odemwingie at the Reebok Stadium. He has a deadly left foot and United must pay close attention to this. Much hype was on Graham Dorrans coming into the season, but the Scottish midfielder is having a quiet season so far. Jerome Thomas and Somen Tchoyi have made more impact this season. The Cameroonian scored his first Premier League goal at Old Trafford earlier this season after a howler from Edwin van der Sar.

Edwin van der Sar comes into this game with 8 clean sheets, although 6 of them came at home. They have shut out Sunderland and Manchester City in goalless draws on the road this season. A goalless draw is not on United’s thoughts coming into this one, but a win to nil is certainly what they should be looking for.

West Brom go into this game in 14th position and just 3 points outside the relegation zone. With Wolves facing West Ham also on new year’s day, there’s every chance they will be closer to the drop zone should they fail to pick up a single point from this game. Their remaining fixtures in January and a home game with Wigan on February 1st are favourable for West Brom, which means defeat on Saturday won’t be a disaster for them.

Manchester United haven’t been winning on the road this season, but that has to change at some point. Playing an out-of-form West Brom side and with a decimated defence, I think Saturday will be Manchester United’s day.

Manchester United are currently 1.56 to beat West Brom at Betfair, while they are 2.01 to win -1.

Submitted by Premiership Tips.

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