WEST BROMWICH ALBION v MANCHESTER UNITED
Barclays Premier League
Sunday 19th May 2013,
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson takes charge of his
1,500th and final game before retiring. United midfielder Paul Scholes will also
be making his last appearance for the club before he too retires.
Albion's only previous game played on May 19 came
in 1993 when they faced Swansea City in the Division Two play-off semi-final
second leg at The Hawthorns. Goals from Andy Hunt and Ian Hamilton saw the
Baggies run out 2-0 winners to go through to the final at Wembley 3-2 on
United's last game on this date came in 2007 when
they lost 1-0 after extra time to Chelsea at Wembley in the FA Cup Final.
On-loan striker Romelu Lukaku needs one goal to equal Peter Odemwingie's
record of 15 Premier League goals in a season.
Graham Dorrans will make his 150th Albion
appearance if he plays any part of the game.
Albion's last six games:
Norwich City (A) 0-4; Manchester City (A) 0-1; Wigan Athletic (H) 2-3;
Southampton (A) 3-0; Newcastle United (H) 1-1; Arsenal (H) 1-2
United's last six league games: Swansea City (H)
2-1; Chelsea (H) 0-1; Arsenal (A) 1-1; Aston Villa (H) 3-0; West Ham United (A)
2-2; Stoke City (A) 2-0
Steven Reid is Baggies' boss Steve Clarke's only doubt ahead
of the game against the Premier League Champions after the defender picked up a
knock in last week's defeat at Norwich City.
Marc-Antoine Fortune returns to the squad following
his three match suspension.
Zoltan Gera and George Thorne remain sidelined with long-term
Foster, Myhill, Jones, Brown, Ridgewell, McAuley, Popov,
Reid, Olsson, Dawson,
Thomas, Lukaku, Morrison, Dorrans, Rosenberg, Brunt, Yacob, Long, Odemwingie,
Fortune, Tamas, Mulumbu.
Sir Alex Ferguson is set to leave Nemanja Vidic and Rio
Ferdinand on the bench preferring the younger duo of Jonny Evans and Phil Jones
in the centre of defence. Reserve keeper Anders Lindegaard will also be handed a
England striker Wayne Rooney will miss the game after being given permission not
to travel with the squad to the West Midlands.
Chris Smalling (foot), Darren Fletcher (chronic bowel
condition) and Ashley Young (ankle) are all long-term absentees whilst Rafael
serves the second game of his three-match suspension.
De Gea, Lindegaard, Jones,
Vidic, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra, Buttner, Valencia, Carrick, Scholes, Anderson,
Cleverley, Giggs, Kagawa, Van Persie, Welbeck, Hernandez.
Baggies' Head Coach Steve Clarke:
“We’ll do our upmost (sic) to get points from the game as we
have done all season. Our home form has been decent and we look to finish on a
high. We started the season on a high against
Liverpool and we’ll look to end
it on a high at home to the champions.
“I know with this group of players I will get a response. They’re a group of
players who know how to respond to adversity. They know how to get results in
the Premier League, which is why we are where we are in the table.
“Everyone is making a big thing about the bad run we’ve had recently, which is
correct. We’re not happy with it either but I think everyone else has to put a
sense of perspective on where we are as a club, what we’re trying to do and
where we’re trying to get to. It’s another year of improvement - that’s three
years in a row. And I think this group of players deserve a little bit of credit
“At any stage in the season there will come a dip. The thing we should be happy
with is our dip came when we’d already secured our objective, which was to be in
the Premier League again. There have been some mitigating factors in the second
half of the season that haven’t helped us - the loss of key players, the loss of
form of key players, and the loss of form to key players probably coming about
through fatigue because the squad gets stretched. If you lose your focus one per
cent in this league, you struggle. For a club our size and the team we have, if
we lose focus by one per cent we’re not the same team.
“But there are a number of other clubs bigger than us who would like to have
been in that position - and they haven’t, they have been hanging around the
bottom of the table - and there were a lot of teams involved this year. We
haven’t been involved in that scrap all season and we’re finishing in the top
half of the table again. I think sometimes there needs to be a little bit of a
“This team, this group of players for West Bromwich Albion have been really
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson:
“1500 games - it’s incredible.
Brom have done fantastically, every team wants to win their last home game and
obviously I want to win this one more than last week's even.
“I don't have any injury problems. I'll make a few changes -
maybe a few younger players will play.
“Anders (Lindegaard) will be in goal. I don't have Rafael so
I need to make a decision about right-back. I want to play Jones and Evans at
centre-back - they could be the future.
Rio (Ferdinand) and (Nemanja)
Vidic will have to have a place on the bench! I'm looking forward to it. It’s
going to be great.”
Albion Win: 10/3, United Win: 3/4, Draw: 11/4.
Lukaku 7/1, Long 9/1, Odemwingie 10/1, Fortune 11/1, Rosenberg 12/1, Morrison
14/1, Brunt 16/1, Dorrans 18/1, Thomas 18/1.
Manchester United: Welbeck 6/1, van Persie 7/2,
Hernandez 9/2, Kagawa 8/1, Nani 9/1, Scholes 10/1, Giggs 11/1, Valencia 14/1,
Michael Oliver (Northumberland)
Has refereed three Albion games so far this season -
the 2-1 defeat at home to Liverpool in the Capital One Cup back in September,
the 2-1 win over Chelsea at The Hawthorns in November and the 2-1 defeat at
Everton in January.
Oliver has taken charge of two United games this
season - the 4-0 win over Wigan Athletic at Old Trafford in September and the
1-1 draw at Swansea City in December.
The Northumberland official has handed out 104
yellow and one red card in the 38 games he has refereed this season.
Tickets for the game are completely
Cloudy but dry, 16°C
Albion's first league meetings with Newton Heath - who
would in time become Manchester United - took place in the First Division
during the 1892/93 season. The first game between the sides, at Stoney
Lane, ended in a goalless draw. Just one week later, in the return game at United's North
Road ground, Albion ran out 4-2 winners thanks to two goals from Archie Bostock and one each from Roddy McLeod and Billy Bassett.
The Baggies' biggest win against United came in April
1968 when they recorded a 6-3 victory at The Hawthorns with the late great
Jeff Astle netting three of the Albion goals. Other big wins for Albion
include 5-1 at The Hawthorns in 1925/26, and 5-3 at Old Trafford in
December 1978 - a game that is generally recognised as one of Albion's
greatest ever performances.
United's best win over Albion came at Old Trafford in
April 1970 when they ran out easy 7-0 winners against an Alan Ashman led team.
Other notable wins for United include 5-0 in 2008/09, 5-1 in 1985/86, 5-3 in 1966/67
and another 5-1 in 1951/52.
Albion’s last league victory over the 'Red Devils' came at The Hawthorns
on March 31, 1984 when Cyrille Regis and Steve MacKenzie scored the goals
which gave the Baggies’ a 2-0 win over Ron Atkinson's United. Since
then Albion have picked up just two points out of a possible 51 against
the men from Manchester.
The Baggies' last victory at Old Trafford came in the aforementioned
December 1978 game. Goals from Tony Brown (2), Len Cantello, Laurie
Cunningham and Cyrille Regis helped Albion to a very well documented 5-3
Albion and United have met each other 13 times at Premier League level
with the men from Manchester winning 11 of the games, the other two ending
Despite their awful recent league record against United, the Baggies did
beat them in a Carling Cup 4th round tie at The Hawthorns in December
2003, Bernt Haas and Scott Dobie scoring the goals in a 2-0 victory.
LAST LEAGUE MEETING AT THE HAWTHORNS
Albion 1-2 Manchester United
Barclays Premier League
14th August 2011,
Foster, Reid (Jara Reyes 85), Tamas, Olsson, Shorey, Brunt, Scharner, Mulumbu,
Morrison, Tchoyi, Long (Cox 87).
Subs not used: Fulop, Dorrans, Dawson, Thorne, Fortune.
Scharner 86 (foul), Cox 90+2 (simulation)
Gea, Smalling, Ferdinand (Jones 75), Vidic (Evans 52), Fabio Da Silva, Young,
Cleverley, Anderson, Nani, Rooney, Welbeck (Berbatov 65).
Subs not used: Lindegaard, Giggs, Park, Carrick.
Rooney 13, Reid 81 (own goal)
Booked: Young 56 (foul), Anderson 78 (dissent)
David de Gea
endured a nightmare debut and Manchester United lost both their centre-halves
yet somehow the champions still managed to start their Premier League title
defence with a win. Ashley Young's deflected effort 10 minutes from time ensured
United did not follow Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea in failing to win their
opening match. Yet on the journey back up the M6, Sir Alex Ferguson's mind will
be full of problems.
Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand will need to be assessed
for the calf and hamstring problems that heralded their respective second-half
departures. And Ferguson will need to find some confidence for De Gea, in
addition to a crash course in dealing with crosses, the Spaniard's inexplicable
error in gifting Shane Long an equaliser to Wayne Rooney's 12th-minute opener,
setting the seal on what turned his Premier League debut into a personal
disaster. The questions that were asked of De Gea in the wake of last week's
Community Shield thriller were all batted back by Ferguson. After spending so
much money on the 20-year-old, clearly, the United boss had to build the
youngster's confidence. However, there are some occasions when no defence is
enough. And this was one. United's defenders, already on edge due to De Gea's
failure to impose himself during aerial combat, thought they had kept West Brom
at arm's length as Chris Brunt pushed the ball out to Long on the corner of the
box. It took a little shimmy inside Chris Smalling to create the space for Long
to let fly with a shot for the far corner. De Gea had the angle covered. On TV
at half-time, Gary Neville described it as "a routine save". Inexplicably, he
dived right over the top of it. As the ball squirmed under his body and hit the
net, Ferguson's heart must have sank. It took him six years to find a
replacement when Peter Schmeichel quit in 1999. The spectre will hang over him
until such time as De Gea, his present deputy Anders Lindegaard, or anyone else,
proves worthy of inheriting Edwin van der Sar's legacy.
As nervousness spread
through the United defence like wildfire, Brunt crashed a shot over and De Gea
desperately clawed a deflected Soren Tchoyi cross from underneath the bar as
West Brom tried to make the most of their unexpected opening. It had all looked
so unlikely too. Apart from brief flurries from the home side, during which time
Tchoyi was a particular handful, United were in complete control. Ferguson's
decision to select Tom Cleverley ahead of Michael Carrick in central midfield
had been vindicated by the youngster's mature performance. Young's final ball
might have been slightly askew but such was the regularity with which he got
past Steven Reid that goals appeared inevitable. Nani wasted two glorious
chances to double Rooney's 12th-minute opener, which in itself was an object
lesson in simplicity. The visitors came cruising out of their own half, Young
laid a pass into the path of his England team-mate, who calmly stroked home from
Struggling with a calf injury since the opening minutes, Vidic
eventually gave way just after half-time. With Patrice Evra sidelined by a knee
problem and Rafael ruled out for 10 weeks after dislocating his shoulder in
training, what had appeared such a rosy picture for United had changed
completely in a matter of days. Rooney came agonisingly close to putting a
rather healthier gloss on things when he flicked Young's cross narrowly wide. A
more powerful header from the England striker hit Gabriel Tamas at close range.
After Nani's free-kick had bounced straight through the West Brom box, Ferguson
introduced record signing Dimitar Berbatov for Danny Welbeck. The Bulgarian gave
the home defence a different kind of problem to solve, although the early signs
were encouraging for West Brom as neither Young nor Nani were able to locate the
target from long-range. To compound United's injury problems, Ferdinand limped
off with a hamstring injury. Phil Jones was introduced, leaving them with one of
the most inexperienced defences Ferguson could have ever had in a Premier League
game. Still the visitors pushed forward. And when Young cut a cross back into
the six-yard box, the unfortunate Reid deflected it past Foster. It was typical
United. And though West Brom pushed forward gallantly at the end, the visitors
held firm, allowing De Gea to breath again.
Ben Foster spent five years at Old Trafford
but made just an handful of first team appearances. The Leamington-born keeper
had joined United from Stoke City in July 2005.
Albion's reserve goalkeeper Luke
Daniels started his career at Old Trafford before moving to The Hawthorns in
2004 following his release by United.
Phelan joined Albion on a free transfer from United in 1994 but his two year
spell at The Hawthorns was hugely disappointing. He re-joined United as a
first team coach in 2001 and is currently assistant
manager to Sir Alex Ferguson.
Alan Fettis, who had a short spell on loan
at The Hawthorns in 1995, is United's Academy goalkeeping coach.
Amongst the players
to have turned out at various levels for both clubs are: Arthur Albiston,
Michael Appleton, Jack
Barnes, Henry Boyd, Garth Crooks, Laurie Cunningham, Arthur Fitton, Johnny Giles, Jonathan Greening, Graeme Hogg, Jim Holton, Tomasz Kuszczak, Paul McShane, Mick Martin, Remi Moses, Michael Nardiello, Jimmy Nicholl,
Billy Richards, Kieran Richardson, Bryan
Robson, Maurice Setters, Arthur Smith, Jimmy Stanton, Luke Steele, Mickey Thomas and Ronnie Wallwork
Larger than life 'Big' Ron Atkinson managed both clubs; Ex-Albion boss Nobby Stiles
was a United player; Stuart Pearson played for United and later became a
coach at The Hawthorns; Ex-United boss Jimmy Murphy was an Albion player
during the 1930's; Former Albion player Brian Whitehouse later coached at Old
Trafford; Mick Brown was assistant manager at both clubs under Ron
Atkinson; Former Baggies' boss Johnny Giles started his playing career at
United; England legend Bryan Robson started his career at The Hawthorns
in the early 1970's before a record £1.5million move took him to Old Trafford in
1981. Robson returned to Albion in 2004 taking over the managerial hotseat from
Gary Megson; Michael Appleton played for both
clubs and coached at various levels at The Hawthorns.
ALL-TIME LEAGUE & CUP RECORD VS MANCHESTER UNITED
TEN MATCHES AGAINST MANCHESTER UNITED
Sat 29 Dec 2012
McAuley (og), van Persie
Sun 11 Mar 2012
Rooney 2 (1 pen)
Sun 14 Aug 2011
Long - Rooney, Reid (og)
Sat 01 Jan 2011
Morrison - Rooney, Hernandez
Sat 16 Oct 2010
Evra (og), Tchoyi -
Tue 27 Jan 2009
Berbatov, Tevez, Vidic,
Sat 18 Oct 2008
Rooney, Ronaldo, Berbatov,
Sat 18 Mar 2006
Ellington - Saha 2
Mon 26 Dec 2005
Scholes, Ferdinand, van
Wed 30 Nov 2005
Ellington - Ronaldo (pen),