Manchester United v West Brom: Albion dream big as they bid to extend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's nightmare run

It was once the most daunting away day in the Premier League.

West Bromwich Albion manager Slaven Bilic
West Bromwich Albion manager Slaven Bilic

But Albion travel to Old Trafford tomorrow to face a Manchester United side who have been far from convincing on home turf this season.

Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s men have lost three of the four league matches they have played at the iconic stadium this term.

The other match ended in a draw. And that means they have the second worst home record in the division – with only Burnley, who have played one less game, below them.

It means the Baggies head up north knowing they have a great chance to add to their impressive recent results at Old Trafford.

Albion have taken 10 points from their last five trips to the Theatre of Dreams.

And boss Slaven Bilic knows they can get a result there again tomorrow if they hit the levels they showed against Tottenham.

The Baggies outplayed Jose Mourinho’s side for long spells in their last outing before the international break.

In the end, an 88th-minute goal from Harry Kane broke their hearts.

But playing in a 3-5-2 system for the very first time, there were an awful lot of positives for Bilic and his players to take from the performance.

And Bilic admits the formation has given him food for thought moving forward.

“We have tried a few systems since the start of the season,” the boss said.

“Apart from a couple of games, the system we picked worked for a large chunk of those games.

“Overall, or me, it is not about the system – it’s about concentration and belief.

“But if you have a good game, you have positive thoughts about the way you played and the system.

West Bromwich Albion's Matheus Pereira

“It’s the same now. That system showed us that we can be really organised and really solid.

“But it also showed us we can get players in good positions to keep the ball, capitalise on mistakes and make the most of our good movements.”

While United have been poor at home this season, Bilic says their record doesn’t take anything away from the prestige that comes with playing at Old Trafford.

“It’s still Man United,” he continued.

“They haven’t started the season as they would have wanted to, especially at home, but even at home they still had some really top performances like in Europe against Leipzig.

“They are Man United. They are a great squad with some great individuals, they are looking to get their first league win at home.

“As a club, recently, we’ve been doing really good at Old Trafford.

“I have a pretty good record from when I was with West Ham.

“Every game is difficult, especially for us because we’re newcomers. But this is still Man United away. If you see their roster, it’s massive.

“It’s also a big opportunity for us, but first we have to do what we did against Spurs and against a few others – to make it hard, to try and penetrate, to keep the ball, to be resilient, to have numbers behind the ball when needed and to keep them far from our box.

“That’s our plan. We know what they have in their locker. We know they have pace, quality, they can score from midfield. We have to be on top of our game, but we’re ready.”

Bilic confirmed Branislav Ivanovic, Matheus Pereira and Callum Robinson will all be in his squad for tomorrow’s game. All four have returned to training having previously tested positive for Covid-19.

The boss did reveal, however, that one or two other members of his squad have tested positive for coronavirus – with the Baggies set to find out today if they can play.

But while Albion have again been hit by the virus, Bilic is really pleased with the work they have been able to do on the training ground.

“We’ve trained well for a couple of weeks,” he added. “Not with the whole squad, because of international duty, and because of the situation with Covid.

“I have to say that the guys were magnificent. Great work-rate, energy, passion, determination and quality.”

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