Manchester United vs West Ham: Match preview and predicted line-ups
Sunday afternoon will see the Red Devils look to extend their run against the Hammers as West Ham seek just their third victory at Old Trafford since the turn of the century, with Slaven Bilic under immense pressure in the away dugout. West Ham’s comeback saw them emerge victorious in the final game at the Boleyn Ground in May in the Irons first victory over United since 2007, and such a performance will need to be repeated for them to win on Sunday.
United came close to a deserved victory over Arsenal last weekend before Olivier Giroud’s late equaliser and bounced back in the perfect way as they saw off Feyenoord with a 4-0 victory on Thursday night, with their form slowly beginning to pick up. When the Hammers visit Jose Mourinho will be seeking to avoid making it four consecutive draws at home and secure a second Premier League win since September.
West Ham’s late surrender at White Hart Lane saw three points turn to none in minutes, making it three games without a win and only three wins this season for the Irons who sit just one point clear of the relegation zone with 12 games played. West Ham’s problems going forward are no secret, with just six goals in their last seven games, but their defence has also been far from solid as Tottenham showed in injury time last weekend.
Manchester United predicted starting XI West Ham predicted starting XI
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Jose Mourinho will make a few changes from the side which came close to victory over Arsenal, with Luke Shaw and Daley Blind impressing enough against Feyenoord to replace Marcos Rojo and Matteo Darmian in the back four. Jesse Lingard is also likely to replace Anthony Martial.
The return of Mark Noble from suspension will see a rejig with Andre Ayew likely to move central with Manuel Lanzini and Dimitri Payet either side of him as Bilic retains faith in his new system. Noble will partner Pedro Obiang in midfield with James Collins likely to replace Winston Reid in the back three.
Suspensions and Injuries
Chris Smalling and Eric Bailly, United’s first choice central defensive pairing, are both likely to miss out as the England international is sidelined by a broken toe whilst the summer signing is not expected back until early next month for Mourinho.
The Hammers have more injury concerns to contend with, but Winston Reid’s suspension for a late red card will perhaps be the biggest blow to their hopes. Sofiane Feghouli, Gokhan Tore and Sam Byram are all doubts but may be rushed back in order to be fit for the clash as they recover from various muscle injuries. Diafra Sakho has been absent through illness but is likely to be involved, and both Arthur Masuaku and Andy Carroll are back in training, but this tie may come too soon for them.
The pressure is on for the Hammers to get a result this weekend, even more so than for United, but it is hard to see where the goals will come from. The home team will not have their strongest defence on show which may help Bilic, but their attack is vastly superior and is likely to make the difference. Manchester United win seems the most likely outcome.
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