Man United talking points as momentum grows and Romelu Lukaku relishes visit of West Brom

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Romelu Lukaku is out to inflict more pain on his former club.

Manchester United will be looking to keep the momentum going when they welcome doomed West Bromwich Albion to Old Trafford in the Premier League on Sunday.

The Red Devils are riding the crest of a wave thanks to last weekend’s remarkable 3-2 comeback victory at Manchester City, thus denying the “noisy neighbours” a historic title win. This represented a fifth-top-flight triumph in a row as Jose Mourinho’s men look to strengthen their grip on second place, plus build confidence for a tilt at a 13th FA Cup.

With the Baggies marooned at the bottom of the standings, another victory should follow.

WHICH UNITED WILL TURN UP?

This season has not provided hope of Mourinho’s vaunted ‘second-season syndrome’ repeating itself since nemesis Pep Guardiola disappeared into the distance from October.

But belief grows that the good times will soon return.

A current tally of 71 points represent the best haul of the largely miserable post-Sir Alex Ferguson era – and there are still six fixtures to fulfil.

‘The Special One’ needs more statement displays to cement his standing. He certainly got this in the second half at Etihad Stadium, after the incompetence of the opening 45 minutes.

West Brom now provide an excellent opportunity to put a team to the sword. United have scored 12 times in their last five league games, yet haven’t run up a four-goal haul since November.

LUKAKU’S PUNCHING BAGG

A match against West Brom will always have special meaning for the centre forward.

The grateful Lukaku has declared previously his loan spell there for 2012/13 “made him a man”. For their part, the Baggies were rewarded with 17 strikes in 38 games after rescuing a hulking teenager from the wilderness at Chelsea.

That included a hat-trick as the Baggies came back from 3-0 and 5-2 down to remarkably pull out a 5-5 draw against United in Fergie’s final match in charge on the last day of the season five years ago.

The £75 million (Dh392.7m) pound signing has a funny way to show gratitude. He’s been involved in eight goals (five goals, three assists) in his last eight league games against them, including the opener in December’s 2-1 win at The Hawthorns.

Romelu Lukaku scored four times for West Brom in Sir Alex Ferguson's final Manchester United match in May 2013.

Romelu Lukaku scored three times for West Brom in Sir Alex Ferguson’s final Manchester United match in May 2013.

SANCHEZ IS STARTING TO STIR

Alexis Sanchez has been a joy to behold for United in the last fortnight.

The exasperating figure who lost the ball 42 times during last month’s Champions League humiliation at home to Sevilla got two wonderful assists against City and finished with characteristic precision versus Brighton to end an eight-game goal drought.

These performances have shown why the Chile forward was so coveted by City and induced United to shatter their wage structure.

This run should continue against the Baggies who are winless in their last 15 Premier League away games.

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Follow live Premier League updates as Chelsea travel to struggling Southampton

Chris Bailey 14/04/2018
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It’s a must-win for Chelsea at Southampton if they are to retain a sliver of hope making it into the Premier League’s top four and the Champions League next season.

But they face an ultra-motivated former Blues hero in Mark Hughes, whose Southampton side are at risk of slipping down into the Championship.

Catch the first game of an action-packed weekend across Europe with live updates below.

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Tottenham unbeaten run plus other facts as they host Pep Guardiola and Man City

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After enduring a tough night against Liverpool at Etihad Stadium in the Champions League, Manchester City now face Tottenham in the Premier League on Saturday.

Pep Guardiola‘s side are soon to become champions of England, but will be wary of Spurs and the potential they possess.

Here we take a look at key facts and stats ahead of what promises to be a thrilling encounter.

– Tottenham have won their last two home league games against Man City. They last had a longer run against them between 2005 and 2009 (6).

– Man City have only won one of their last five Premier League games against Spurs (D1 L3), though it was in the reverse fixture in December (4-1).

– This will be the third Premier League game to kick-off at this time on a Saturday, after Southampton 4-0 Arsenal (26/12/2015) and Leicester 2-2 Manchester United (23/12/2017).

– Manchester City have won two away Premier League games in London this season – the only campaign in which they’ve won more in the competition was 2013-14 (4).

Pep Guardiola marshalling his troops.

Pep Guardiola marshalling his troops.

– Indeed, those two wins have come at Arsenal and Chelsea. Only three clubs have ever won away at all three of Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs in the same Premier League campaign (Coventry 1993-94, Charlton 2001-02 and Blackburn 2002-03).

– Tottenham are unbeaten in their last 14 Premier League games (W11 D3); they last had a longer unbeaten run in the top-flight between January-August 1967 (20 games).

– Manchester City are looking to avoid back-to-back Premier League defeats for the first time since December 2016.

– Only Alan Shearer (14), Wayne Rooney (11) and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (11) have scored more Premier League goals against Spurs than Sergio Aguero has (10). However, the Argentine hasn’t scored in any of his last five against them.

– Christian Eriksen has scored in three consecutive games in all competitions for Spurs for the first time since joining them, with the Dane netting five goals in total in that run.

– Son Heung-min has been directly involved in 27 goals for Spurs in all competitions this season (18 goals, 9 assists) – 22 of these have come at Wembley, more than any other player for the club in 2017-18.

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