Will the international break have given Manchester United time to reset as they bid to press forward from a disappointing start to the season?
Albeit having played one game fewer than most of the league United find themselves marooned in the bottom half of the table with 10 points from their first seven games, nearer to 18th placed West Bromwich Albion than Leicester City at the top of the Premier League. A win over Everton before the international break brought Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a brief respite but any dropped points against the Baggies will start familiar conversations at Old Trafford.
Here is how you can watch the match and what to know:
- Date: Saturday, Nov. 21
- Time: 15:00 ET
- Location: Old Trafford -- Manchester, England
- TV: Peacock Premium
- Odds: Manchester United -300; Draw +400; West Brom +900 (via William Hill Sportsbook)
Manchester United: Early in the season Old Trafford looks less like a fortress than a prison for Solskjaer and his players, yet to win a Premier League match on home soil so far this season. Not since the 1972-73 have the Red Devils failed to win their first five home games in a row whilst no top flight team has conceded more than their 10.
Even if that number is skewed by the six Tottenham scored on a disastrous early October afternoon, it still reflects the fearlessness with which clubs are now arriving at the Theatre of Dreams. Knowing that United are ill at ease setting the tone in a game clubs are more than willing to sit deep and pick off this ill-equipped defence on the break.
West Brom: Slaven Bilic is not alone in feeling the burden of COVID-19 on his squad but he has seen his preparations disrupted even as he has welcomed back three key players. Branislav Ivanovic and Matheus Pereira missed the defeat to Tottenham Hotspur whilst Callum Robinson tested positive on international duty with the Republic of Ireland.
All three will be available but Bilic indicated in his pre-match press conference that others might not. "We had a few players positive but I can't say the names," he said. "We are doing everything we can. We are waiting for results." That is far from ideal preparation as West Brom chase a first win of the new season.
If Manchester United are going to get three points on the board against anyone at Old Trafford then West Brom seem a likely candidate. Expect them to win but not easily at 2-1.