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Man United v West Brom


Fergie: Lucky to escape ban

Fergie: Lucky to escape ban

Manchester United will be looking to consolidate their position at the summit of the Barclays Premier League when they entertain high-flying West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford on Saturday.


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The Red Devils have been in fine form in recent games and have won five out of their last six league encounters. Sir Alex Ferguson's side find themselves seven points clear of rivals Manchester City at the top of the table.

The 70-year-old will be on the touchline for the clash against the Baggies after escaping a ban following a rant with referee Mike Dean and his assistants during their dramatic clash with Newcastle on Boxing Day.

Javier Hernandez is expected to once again come in for the talismanic Wayne Rooney, who is still nursing a knee injury. The Mexican International scored the winner in United's 4-3 win over the Magpies.

Shinji Kagawa and club-captain Nemanja Vidic (both knee) are close to returning to full fitness, but may be rested on Saturday.

Defenders Rafael and Phil Jones, midfielders Ashley Young, Nani and Anderson as well as forward Danny Welbeck are all scheduled to return at the weekend but may have to be content with a place on the bench.

West Brom, meanwhile, sit in sixth place on 33 points after a controversial 2-1 win over Queens Park Rangers on Boxing Day.

Steve Clarke may have to do without Jonas Olsson (groin), Youssouf Mulumbu and Goran Popov (both hamstring) who all limped off against the R's.

Influential midfielder Claudio Yacob remains sidelined with his hamstring strain, while full-back Steven Reid is expected to miss the game with a calf problem.

History is not on West Brom's side either as United have won 10 of their last 12 against the Baggies in the League, the other two being draws.

The last time Albion won at Old Trafford was in 1978, when they stunned the Red Devils 5-3.

Steve Clarke's side will take confidence from the fact United have leaked 13 goals at home this season, the same amount as Southhampton who sit in the relegation zone.

Posted: 28/12/12 15:31

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