Manchester United v West Bromwich Albion - comeback kings
By Paul Andrews
One thing you can guarantee about Manchester United Football Club is that while under the stewardship of Sir Alex Ferguson they are never out of a match. Since the Scotsman arrived at Old Trafford, frantic finishes have been part of his legacy. The champions League victory versus Bayern Munich in 1999 is perhaps the most famous however this season has already seen United win matches in the dying moments on multiple occasions.
The latest club to taste the bitterness was Newcastle United. The Red Devils trailed three times at home to Newcastle on Boxing Day but claimed a stunning 4-3 victory courtesy of Javier Hernandez's 90th-minute goal and showed once again that even when not at full flight they are capable of winning some of the most remarkable matches in football.
Against the Magpies, United were far from their best, struggling defensively and misplacing passes. But as seen so often this season, United's firepower has been good enough to get the team out of trouble. The thrilling result in damp conditions at Old Trafford sent United seven points clear at the summit, even without the services of Wayne Rooney and Ashley Young, who both missed the match due to injuries.
And next up for the championship hopefuls is a showdown with one of the league's surprise packets West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.
Under the guidance of rookie manager Steve Clarke, West Brom are sixth, level on points with Everton and Tottenham. A four-game winless streak threatened to derail a potential Europe League berth and raised questions as to whether the club had the staying power to mix it up with the big boys but two successive wins against Norwich and Queens Park Rangers has the club firmly entrenched in the top seven.
But West Brom face an uphill task upon their trip to the Theatre of Dreams and history is not on their side as they've never beaten United in the Premier League. Since the competition was founded in 1992, the pair have met 12 times, with United claiming 10 wins and two draws. If the past five matches are any indication the Baggies could be in for a real hiding as United have netted a whopping 17 goals, while only conceding four.
The form book screams for a resounding home victory however Steve Clarke in his Chelsea days has been to the Theatre of Dreams and left with all three points in the bag. He is well aware of the firepower and belief United possess though and if the Baggies can get a result, it would be considered a huge shock.