Match Previews

Preview: Under-23s face Manchester United in PL2

Albion currently top of Premier League 2 after four games.

By Matt Bishop • 18 September 2021

By Paul Hazlewood
Albion were comfortable winners last week in their 4-1 victory over Blackburn Rovers.

Albion under-23s return to Premier League 2 action on Saturday when they travel to Manchester United, kick-off 12pm.

Andrew Crofts' side suffered a narrow first defeat of the season on Tuesday when they lost 1-0 at Walsall in the Papa John's Trophy, but remain unbeaten in PL2. 

Most recently, they overcame Blackburn Rovers at the Amex, with goals from Marc Leonard, Lorent Tolaj, James Furlong and Evan Ferguson sealing a 4-1 victory. 

04:00

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PL2 Highlights: Albion 4 Blackburn Rovers 1

Ferguson has scored four goals in as many PL2 games this season to propel Albion to the top of the league, with an unbeaten record only matched by Manchester City.

Manchester United meanwhile are struggling at the other end of the division with no wins, and only two points, from their opening four matches. 

After draws against Leicester City and Chelsea in the opening two encounters, back-to-back defeats against City and Arsenal have left the Red Devils languishing in tenth place. 

Crofts said, “It was a real positive start against a pretty much full-strength League Two side in Walsall, which showed the respect they had for us. We started brightly and dominated for large spells but the timing of their goal was disappointing. 

09:11

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EFL Trophy Highlights: Walsall 1 Albion 0

“I thought the sending off of Gary Dicker was harsh, but I never want to make excuses. A few decisions might have gone against us but that’s all part of the squad’s learning curve. In every game you can learn something and we definitely learned a lot on Tuesday.

“The endeavour to stay in the game and work hard for chances was there and fair play to the group for sticking at it.  

“We’ve now got another tough away test coming up against United – they’ve got some real talent and play some good attacking football. They can hurt you in different ways but the lads are looking forward to it. 

“We’re obviously in really good form in the league and we’ll fight as hard as we can to keep hold of that form and go beyond it. As a group, they’re hungry for the game and will enjoy the challenge.”