The only points dropped this season at Old Trafford by Manchester United came vs West Bromwich Albion. United appeared to be on their way to victory after two first half strikes from Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez and Nani. However, after an own goal by Patrice Evra and a rare gaffe by Edwin van der Sar, The Baggies were able to escape with a point after a 2-2 draw.
United head into the new year atop the table, with a game or 2 in hand versus the rest of the other title contenders. However, concerns still remain after throwing away another late lead at Birmingham City, albeit in a controversial fashion. Although United remain unbeaten for the season, they only have a single away victory in 8 matches away from Old Trafford. United visit The Hawthorns with health and fitness concerns to Nani and Darren Fletcher as well. Also,Park Ji-Sung continues to be unavailable due to his commitments to the South Korea national team at the Asian Cup.
With this being the 3rd of 4 matches in a 10 day span, its difficult to predict the lineup Sir Alex Ferguson will go with. At Birmingham City, only a single switch was made in regards to personnel from the match vs Sunderland. However, Fergie showed variation in formation by going with a 4-3-3 and a 4-2-3-1 at times vs Birmingham as opposed to the 4-4-2 vs Sunderland. If Nani is fit and ready to go, will Fergie go back to a 4-4-2? With a match vs Stoke City 3 days later, it'll certainly be interesting to see what lineup and formation Fergie rolls out.
Under manager Roberto Di Matteo, West Brom have looked to attack and play some attractive football. The recently promoted midlands club have been a revelation in both their mindset to chase goals and their surprisingly strong start. However, this approach leaves them vulnerable to giving up goals as well, as they are tied with Aston Villa for most goals against this season in the Barclay's Premier League. After impressive wins vs Everton and Newcastle, The Baggies have dropped 3 straight matches and will looking to use this upcoming match vs United to turn things around. Tactically, West Brom play a hybrid 4-3-3/4-5-1, depending on if they are attacking or defending. Their most dangerous attacking player is Forward Peter Odemwingie.
It's a privilege for me to be joining this blog and I wish everyone a happy and safe new year!