WEST BROM host Man Utd on Sunday afternoon. Jack Wright (@JackWright_BSB ) is on-hand to preview the match-up.
West Brom vs Manchester United | Sunday 14th February 2021, 14:00 | Sky Sports
Sunday’s encounter between West Brom and Manchester United sees the worst defence in the league against the best attack in the league at The Hawthorns.
West Brom have conceded a whopping 54 goals in 23 games, an awful average 2.3 goals-per-game. United, on the other hand, are the league’s top scorers ahead of GW24 with 49 goals to their name. United are yet to lose an away game and it’s incredibly hard to see how The Baggies get anything here.
The Red Devils travel without Paul Pogba who has been instrumental in recent away games, scoring the winner at both Burnley and Fulham. He will be a big miss, but it means there may be more structure to Solskjaer’s team given he likes to play Fred, Scott McTominay and Pogba all at once. I suspect they will go with 4-2-3-1 here with Fred the deepest of the midfield three.
West Brom’s form and defensive data is horrid and they have conceded 3, 3, 1, 4 and 5 goals in their home games against Leicester and The Big 6. United are the highest scorers in the league and will come expecting a win.
The Baggies home record under Big Sam reads a loss of 19-2 on aggregate, with their only goals and point coming against Fulham. United have scored 2+ goals in 12 of their last 15 PL away games, too, as well as scoring 3+ in over half (8/15).
United are unbelievably short and you can see why but to get some value I will head to the shots market. Edinson Cavani to have a headed shot on target at 11/4 with SkyBet. 4 of his 6 United goals have been with his head, and only Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Andy Delort of Montpellier have scored more with their head in Europe’s Top 5 Leagues.
Considering 5 of his 8 shots on target in the PL this season have come off his head it looks a good way to eek some value out of a Cavani shot on target, which is only 4/11 with the same firm. They are up against a West Brom side who concede an average of 16.9 shots at The Hawthorns (most in league), and conceded 14+ shots in 9/10, and 17+ shots in 5/10.
It’s probably worth a tickle on Cavani to score a header, too, considering the quality of crosses that will come his way from Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford and Luke Shaw of late. That’s 8/1 in SkyBet’s price boosts.
One of West Brom’s only pieces of business done in January was to bring in Turkish international Okay Yokuslu from Celta Vigo. He had just 3 starts for Celta this season before being shipped out on loan, picking up 3Y and 1R in the process. It’s some effort given he has more booking points to his name than starts.
On his last appearance for Celta, he was booked just 9 minutes after he was substituted on. Last weekend, he was subbed on in the 78th minute and successfully attempted 3 tackles, showing his tenacity. Sometimes he gets it wrong though and should have been booked by Stuart Attwell for a late challenge.
However, in his 12 mins against Tottenham he recorded 3 successful tackles from as many attempted and was in a Celta squad who are the highest tacklers in La Liga with 17 per game.
Only Leeds (13.1) have been dribbled past more often in games than West Brom (11), meaning Yokuslu may have to take tactical and cynical decisions to avoid his defence from becoming exposed.
The referee is Craig Pawson who has shown 3+ cards in 14/21 games this campaign and in 8/13 in his Premier League games. He has also shown 3 red cards in his last 2 games. he appears to be great appointment for a few cards here, and also West Brom have seen a card in 21/23 games this season.
He is 29/10 to be carded at BetVictor, a lot bigger than the 15/8 on most sites, and I think this will be shorter in coming weeks once he has increased his foul and card tallies.
I suspect you will see many of the WLB contributors highlight the Turkish international for a potential card in the coming months.