West Brom vs Manchester United: Baggies opening day woes set to continue
The last time Manchester United lost on the opening day of the season was in 2004 and considering the comeback shown by Sir Alex Ferguson’s men in the Community Shield last weekend they look a great bet to get their season off to a good start.
United will go into this match without the injured Javier Hernandez and with Tom Cleverley tipped to make his first competitive start for the club. All eyes will be on new goalkeeper David de Gea following his mistake at Wembley last weekend.
The 21-year-old Spanish goalkeeper was beaten 11 times from outside the area last season – the most in La Liga – meaning the likes of Chris Brunt will be looking to test him early on.
West Brom were the only team to take points of United at Old Trafford last season, but the fixture at the Hawthorns saw Sir Alex Ferguson’s men triumph with a 2-1 win. We’re backing them to run out winners again at 1/2.
The Baggies will take heart from the fact United only won five times on their travels last season, but those punters looking at Roy Hodgson’s side to win at 6/1 should remember that in their last two seasons in the Premier League they have opened against a team from the top four; losing both games and conceding a total of seven goals.
New signing Shane Long is expected to take his place in the starting line up, but top goalscorer Peter Odemwingie is unlikely to make it following his recent ankle problems.
United lead the way in the odds for first goalscorer, with the favourites being Wayne Rooney at 4/1 and last season’s joint Premier League top scorer Dimitar Berbatov at 11/2.
West Brom took the lead in this match last season through James Morrison’s stunning strike. The former Middleboro man is 14/1 to do the same this year, whereas those expecting Long to hit the ground running can get odds of 9/1 for the former Reading man to strike first.