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P.J. Murray 13th Aug 2011 - 17:33

It could all go South for West Brom

Premier League champions Manchester United face a difficult trip to the Hawthorns to take on a potentially sticky West Brom as they look to claim another Premier League title.

Man Utd have had the perfect preparation for the season, a thrilling come from behind win against their bitter rivals and neighbours Man City should set them up nicely for another season in the top flight.

The Hawthorns was one of only five grounds at which Sir Alex Ferguson's side won last season, so good omens all around for the Red Devils.

West Brom will be without their best player, Gary Neville. The supposed Man Utd great played his last game for Fergie at the Hawthorns were his only contribution was a goal saving foul that was never punished. He never played for the Red Devils again and has subsequently retired to annoy people further with his inept TV punditry.

One player whose place had looked in doubt with several new signings was Nani, but his display in the Community Shield was nothing less that heroic and as such we are enhancing the midfielder to replicate his form and bag two or more goals to the massive price of 14/1 from 6/1.

Man Utd seem to be good value at 8/15 for their opener while West Brom are 6/1 to do what Burnley did in 2009 and shock the Manc's.

Roy Hodgson dragged the Baggies from 17th to 11th when he took over last season, and big things are expected from West Brom this season, but will they be able to live up to it. The acquisition of Ireland's Shane Long has been for the paltry sum of 7m has been seen as a stroke of genius by many. His exploits from Reading and the Republic of Ireland has always put him on the radar of the Premier League clubs, but it's a bit of a surprise that he hasn't gone to a bigger side. The striker is 8/1 to score first and 11/4 to mark his debut with an anytime goal.

United will go out to attack and look to send out a message to their title rivals, the double result of Man Utd/Man Utd is 5/4 with West Brom/Man Utd at 9/1. Hodgson's side came from 2-0 down last season to scrape a 2-2 draw at Old Trafford last season and I'm betting if you were to offer the Baggies manager a draw right now he would take it.

West Brom were hammered 6-0 on the opening day of last season by Chelsea, although a lot has changed, I think United have enough to beat them by at least two which is why at 6/4 United minus a goal looks to be a good bet.

For me this has only one outcome, United win and i would also back them to win minus the goal at 6/4.


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