BILLY BUNTER

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United should batter doomed West Brom

Premier League
Sky Sports Premier League, 4pm Sunday


West Brom are on the brink of being relegated from the Premier League and they are unlikely to put up much resistance on their trip to Manchester United.

Albion are not mathematically down yet but in reality they have been doomed for months, limping towards the Sky Bet Championship under the disastrous reign of Alan Pardew.

Interim coach Darren Moore helped to engineer a better performance last time out but they still only drew at home to Swansea to continue a woeful run of just three Premier League victories all season.

Two of those came in the opening two weeks of the season and since August 19 their only league success came in a 2-0 win over Brighton, although there was a quite remarkable 3-2 triumph at Liverpool in the FA Cup which looks even more bizarre considering the contrasting fortunes of both clubs since that January tie.

The point against Swansea snapped an eight-game losing sequence which included 3-0 defeats at Manchester City and Chelsea. That could hint at a worthwhile bet for their game against Manchester United, who are understandably a short price and should triumph without conceding.

Albion have scored only once away to a big-six side this term - a 1-1 draw thanks to an early strike from Salomon Rondon when Gary Megson was briefly in charge against Tottenham - but spirits have dipped considerably in recent months.

Moore may well lift morale but Albion have not scored more than once in any away Premier League match this season and not even the potential return of loanee Daniel Sturridge from his latest injury could be enough for them to find a path past David de Gea.

De Gea's form has been a key reason why United are second in the Premier League. On some expected goal ratings the Red Devils are as low as sixth - the theory is they should have conceded 13 more goals than their actual tally of just 25.

However, theory is one thing and the reality is that United have De Gea, who now has legitimate claims to be the world's best goalkeeper.

United have not conceded a goal to any team who started this round of fixtures in the bottom half of the table and if there is to be any kind of squad rotation from Jose Mourinho it is likely to come in their midweek trip to Bournemouth as preparations begin for the FA Cup semi-final showdown against Spurs on Saturday.

As it is, Mourinho's men will be on a high following last week's comeback success at Manchester City when Alexis Sanchez had his best game in a United shirt and Paul Pogba came up trumps.

Recommendation
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Match in Focus

19:45 TODAY BT2

Genoa v Verona

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • Verona have suffered five straight away defeats to nil
Expert verdict
Seven of Verona’s last eight away games have ended in losses to nil and they’ve only scored one goal (a penalty) in their last six. That presents a massive problem for Hellas ahead of the trip to the Luigi Ferrari, which Genoa have turned into a fortress.