United arrive in London sitting seven points clear at the top of the Premier League table and while the FA Cup has dropped down the priority list in recent years, the fact United have not won the competition since 2004 is something Sir Alex Ferguson is keen to address.
The hosts have been boosted ahead of the game with two new signings after boss Sam Allardyce secured the services of Joe Cole and Arsenal striker Marouane Chamakh on Friday.
Former Hammers favourite Cole has joined from Liverpool on a permanent deal and is available for selection, but Moroccan front man Chamakh is not available after his registration wasn’t completed in time following his arrival from the Gunners on a season long loan.
Manchester United are expected to ring the changes for the game with the likes of Robin van Persie, Patrice Evra, Rio Ferdinand, Antonio Valencia and Michael Carrick all likely to get a well-earned rest.
Defender Nemanja Vidic may get another chance to build up his match fitness and may partner Phil Jones at the back. Shinji Kagawa is also likely to start after recently returning from injury and is in need of match practice while Darren Fletcher is likely to play having not started a game in December.
Wayne Rooney is set to miss the next couple of weeks after suffering a small set back in his recovery from a knee injury.
Joe Cole is pushing for a start for West Ham but may have to make do with a place on the bench. Striker Andy Carroll remains out through injury so Carlton Cole is expected to continue in attack.
Mohamed Diame also remains sidelined but defender James Collins and midfielder Kevin Nolan will return after completing their suspensions.
Man United are in imperious form this season but the Hammers have an excellent record in the FA Cup at Upton Park, winning 8 and losing just 2 of their last 13 home ties. However, we can see Fergie’s men edging this one….just. West Ham 1-2 Man Utd
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