Manchester United have a unique opportunity at hand, but it's one they're going to have to fight hard to take. With a win and a couple of favorable results, they can pull even with Manchester City on points and put serious pressure on the top four. But first they have to win, and going up against West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthornes, that's far from a foregone conclusion.
Over half of West Brom's wins have come at home, and they've been beaten just four times there all season. They also haven't lost in five matches on home soil, and have gone unbeaten in their last three overall. Tony Pulis' team has been enjoying an overall improvement in form of late, and Manchester United are going to have to put in a top-shelf shift if they're going to guarantee themselves all three points in this match.
Getting the kind of performance they need has been difficult for Manchester to do consistently lately, so their fans can't come into this match assuming everything is going to come out all shiny and how they want to see it. If they even give West Brom a tiny opening in this game, they can and maybe even will wind up regretting it in a big way.
Key player -- Ander Herrera (Manchester United)
With Manchester facing a side in West Brom that lives to win the ball back and wreak havoc, maintaining possession in midfield will be vital. To that end, Herrera will need to be at his best -- and when Herrera is playing well, it's a lot harder to take the ball away from Manchester. His silky passing and almost eerie calm on the ball is immensely important for a match like this, and the better he performs in this matchup, the better United's chances of controlling the day's proceedings.
Key matchup -- Saido Berahino (West Bromwich Albion) vs. Daley Blind (Manchester United)
Berahino has finally been showing signs of coming out of his early season slump lately, pairing effectively up top with Salomon Rondon to open things up for West Brom's attack. At his best, he can be a one-man wrecking crew, so Manchester and Blind will need to be on guard to keep him at bay. Blind's ability to step up off the back line and cut out runners will be invaluable to trying to stop Berahino, and if he can stop him then it will be much easier for Manchester to keep West Brom's attack in check and win this match.
West Bromwich Albion injuries and suspensions
Out: James Morrison, Callum McManaman, Chris Brunt In doubt: Jonny Evans
Manchester United injuries and suspensions
Out: Wayne Rooney, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, Ashley Young, Will Keane, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Donald Love, Luke Shaw In doubt: Chris Smalling, Marouane Fellaini, Phil Jones, Antonio Valencia
Match Date/Time: Sunday, 11 a.m. ET, 4 p.m. local
Venue: The Hawthornes, West Bromwich, England
TV: NBCSN (U.S. - English), Telemundo (U.S. - Spanish), Sportsnet regional networks (Canada), Sky Sports 1/HD (U.K.)
Online: NBC Sports Live Extra (U.S.), Sportsnet World Now (Canada), Sky Go (U.K.)