Exclusive: Phillips makes bold claim on West Brom clash v Man United as early team news emerges
We’re delighted to welcome former West Brom striker Kevin Phillips as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at The Hawthorns…
Kevin Phillips claims there’s no better time for West Brom to play Manchester United this weekend with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer suffering from an injury crisis at Old Trafford.
According to the Manchester Evening News, Edinson Cavani and Harry Maguire missed training on Thursday while Alex Telles, Victor Lindelof, Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford are all doubts despite going through their paces ahead of the match against Albion on Saturday.
Jesse Lingard, Eric Bailly and Luke Shaw could also miss out for Man United at Old Trafford.
It’s quite the headache for Solsksjaer and while some of those players are bound to feature against West Brom, Phillips believes it’s a good opportunity for Slaven Bilic to relieve some of the pressure on himself and put more on his adversary by getting a win at Man United.
“Old Trafford isn’t what it used to be when I was playing and went there. It isn’t as intimidating now and even more so with no crowd in there,” Phillips told West Brom News.
“If there’s any better opportunity to beat Manchester United then it’s now with no crowd, it’s not as intimidating and six or seven players could potentially be missing who are crucial to their squad. They haven’t got the biggest squad as it is.
“There’s every opportunity of a win but nevertheless, it is Manchester United and unfortunately some players get beaten at Old Trafford before they even get on the pitch.
“I’ve seen it over the years but I hope it doesn’t happen at the weekend.
“You have to take advantage when the opposing team has got their problems and of course, there’s pressure on the manager (Solskjaer).
“There’s no better opportunity than trying to get a result this weekend.”
West Brom have their own issues ahead of the trip to Manchester with Bilic confirming that a number of his players have tested positive for COVID-19.
While it has not been confirmed who those players are just yet, it’s likely to have an impact on Bilic’s squad.
As a result, neither side will be at full strength this weekend and in a match between two under-pressure managers, the result could be significant for both of their futures.
Let’s just hope it’s Solskjaer who’s sweating over his more than Bilic by the time the final whistle is blown on Saturday night because the Baggies desperately need all three points at a stadium that has been quite a happy hunting ground in recent years.
In other West Brom news, Bilic and Dean Smith are at odds over a major debate going on among Premier League managers.