West Brom defiant despite defence being depleted against the leaders

West Brom manager Roberto Di Matteo has vowed his team will play with "no fear" against league leaders Manchester United tomorrow despite missing two key defenders through suspension.

Central defender Gabriel Tamas is out for three games after being sent off against Blackburn, while right-back Gonzalo Jara picked up his fifth yellow card in the same game, and is therefore missing for the match.

Defender Jonas Olsson is still sidelined with an Achilles injury, meaning the Baggies will have to field a makeshift back line at The Hawthorns tomorrow lunchtime.

Despite this, Di Matteo says his team will approach the game in their usual positive manner.

"We play with no fear against anybody, that's been our strength," he said.

The former MK Dons boss admitted that while the situation is not ideal, he is hoping that some of his fringe players can take their chance in the first team.

"We've got three defenders out, so we'll have problems at the back. I'll have to make changes, and that gives other players the opportunity to come into the team," he said. "It's obviously not a settled back four, but that's what the reality is."

Steven Reid, former Blackburn midfielder, is likely to fill in at right-back.

Di Matteo's men have lost their last three league matches, but he said: "First game of the season we played Chelsea, and now the first game of the second part of the season we're playing Man Utd.

"But after that, there's another 18 games to play."

Darren Fletcher has dismissed Manchester City's claim that the title is United's to lose as nothing more than 'kidology'.

Appropriately enough, it was former United No 2 Brian Kidd who made the statement after assessing a table that has his old club top on goal difference from the Blues, but crucially also with two matches in hand.

But similar statements about Chelsea came out of Eastlands earlier this season, when it was felt manager Roberto Mancini was merely trying to take the pressure off his own team.

And Fletcher is not taking any notice of what Kidd has to say now.

"It is just a bit of kidology," said the Scotland captain. "It is still early stages and lot of teams will feel they are capable of winning the league. We are one of them.

"We are in a good position. We are top of the league with games in hand. But it is easy counting the points. You have to win your matches and your games in hand."

Fletcher's return is anticipated among a number of changes to a side Sir Alex Ferguson retained from Boxing Day, with the exception of Park Ji-sung, who is on Asia Cup duty with South Korea.