A lot has happened in 30 years, the last time West Brom beat Manchester United at Old Trafford.
West Brom beat United on 30 December 1978 in an epic match that ended 5-3 to the Baggies. Albion had fought back from 1-0 and 3-2 down to eventually end victorious. That game epitomised the swashbuckling style of a Baggies team that was truly the most exciting team in the old English first division and it still lives on in Albion folklore today. A goal of the season from Len Cantello, two from the legend that is Bomber Brown and a goal each from two of the Three Degrees, Big Cyrille and Laurie Cunnigham settled it that day.
That was the last time that United conceded five goals in a game at home and since then the teams have headed in different directions.
United have won the Premier League 10 times, the FA Cup 7 times, the League Cup once, the European Cup twice and one win in the UEFA Cup, Super Cup and Intercontinental Cup.
The Baggies have spent a fair proportion of their time in the lower leagues since having brief flirtations in the top flight but never really looking like they were there to stay.
The Baggies are hoping to make their stay in the Premier League longer this time having been promoted as Championship winners. Tony Mowbray’s team evoke memories of the team that beat United so handsomely in 1978 and there is a real feeling of optimism amongst the fans that the aim of consolidating in the Premier League is achievable.
The odds are that West Brom will lose at United but a defeat will not quell the spirit of the Baggies and the class of 2008.
Tony Mowbray says
“That Albion side (of 1978/9) believed in their abilities, they knew they could attack teams, they were strong defensively, had a strong midfield but football has moved on now and Manchester United are on a different stratosphere, not just from this football club but most football clubs.
“We will be need to be defensively well-structured and well-organised, but when we get it we need to try and impose our style on them. It can happen.”
Manchester United Team News:
United will definitely be missing Hargreaves and Carrick and could also be missing Anderson and Tevez who only arrived back from international duty yesterday.
Manchester United (from): Van der Sar, Amos, Neville, Brown, Rafael, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evans, Evra, Ronaldo, O’Shea, Fletcher, Anderson, Giggs, Nani, Tevez, Berbatov, Rooney, Welbeck
Player to watch: Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo can turn a game in an instant with a bit of trickery, or rather more darkly, a clever dive!
West Bromwich Albion Team News:
The Baggies welcome back Chris Brunt to the fold and he will be important to the balance of the side in a 451 formation. Miller will make way for his return. Unfortunately, the game comes to early for Teixeira.
West Brom (from): Carson, Kiely, Zuiverloon, Hoefkens, Barnett, Donk, Olsson, Robinson, Cech, Morrison, Greening, Koren, Valero, Brunt, Miller, Bednar, Moore, Slusarski, MacDonald, Pele
Player to watch: Bednar
Bednar will have to live up his claims of being as good as Ronaldo earlier in the week.
United have lost only 1 of 20 games officiated by Halsey.
1-1 with another goal from Roman Bednar.
25 October – at home to Hull City