Man Utd vs West Ham: FA Cup preview | Confirmed team news | Expected line-ups
This evening, Man Utd go head-to-head with West Ham as both teams fight for a place in the quarter-final of the FA Cup, kick off 19:30.
Man Utd have struggled with their consistency recently, having only won two of their last five Premier League games. In Saturday’s game against Everton, Utd let in a 95th minute equaliser scored by Dominic Calvert-Lewin resulting in a 3-3 draw.
West Ham have otherwise found good form having won three of their last five games. This, helped by the introduction of Man Utd loanee Jesse Lingard who will be unable to play against his parent club tonight.
In Saturday’s game, Utd midfielder Paul Pogba asked to be substituted off in the 39th minute with what has now been diagnosed as a thigh-muscle injury. Speaking to MUTV, Man Utd manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said, “It’s an injury that will take a few weeks to heel… he’s just started his recovery, working with the medical staff and we’ll get him back as soon and as safely as we can”.
Pogba has been in excellent form recently, winning both January Player and Goal of the Month as voted for by fans on the Official Manchester United App. Therefore, this will come as a huge blow to both Utd and Pogba himself. Solskjaer also reflected on this, saying:
“Of course, Paul has been very important for us and we’re not going to take any risks. [So it is] a few weeks definitely… You never want to be injured and, especially, now Paul was really finding his form and enjoying his football. For us, we just have to take as many points and wins as possible, when you lose players.”
It has also been confirmed that there are still doubts over whether Eric Bailly will be able to return to action. Speaking to club media on Monday afternoon, Solskjaer has said, “Eric is getting better. He’s still not available for the Cup game tomorrow we don’t think… he’s been out on the grass and training and we’ll make a decision tomorrow. I don’t think he’ll be involved”.
Phil Jones will also still be out of contention despite being included in Utd’s Premier League squad for the second half of the season. Other than that, Solskjaer has said, “everyone else is available and trained this morning”.
As previously mentioned, West Ham will be without Lingard who has had a big impact since his arrival at the club.
However, Thomas Soucek’s will be available after West Ham lodged a successful appeal against the red card given to him in their previous game. This is a big boost for West Ham as Soucek has proven to be a key player for them this season.
Another possible doubt is Michail Antonio who was subbed off in the 75th minute of Saturday’s game with fatigue. Speaking in his pre-match press conference, David Moyes said, “He’s still fatigued so it’ll be a close call whether he makes it or not, I’ll see how he is today. We’ll need to assess him tomorrow to see if he’s able to play or not.”
Man Utd XI (4-2-3-1): Henderson; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Telles; McTominay, Van de Beek; Rashford, Fernandes, Greenwood; Martial.
With Eric Bailly a doubt for tonight’s game, Victor Lindelof is set to retain his partnership with Harry Maguire in the centre of defence. However, Luke Shaw is likely to be given a well-earned rest, allowing Utd’s other left wing-back, Alex Telles, to get some playing time.
As Pogba is set to be on the sidelines for the next few weeks, tonight’s game may be a good opportunity for Donny van de Beek to prove himself as a good temporary replacement for the Frenchman. Solskjaer should partner him with Scott McTominay, whom he trusts to defend well and also chip in with some excellent goals from time to time.
Fred and Nemanja Matic will also both be available for selection, nevertheless, Van de Beek should be given the chance to show his full potential in Pogba’s absence.
Bruno Fernandes may have been given the chance to rest tonight, however, his significance as Utd’s playmaker may ultimately push Solskjaer towards keeping him in the starting XI. Anthony Martial should also start instead of Edinson Cavani. Cavani has started the last couple of games for Utd so this will give Martial a good opportunity to prove himself as Utd’s number 9.
West Ham XI (4-2-3-1): Fabianski; Fredericks, Dawson, Diop, Cresswell; Soucek, Rice; Benrahma, Fornals, Bowen; Yarmolenko
With Darren Randolph still recovering from a knock, Lukasz Fabianski looks to remain in goal for West Ham.
At the back, there may be some changes in the form of Ryan Fredericks and Issa Diop coming in for Vladimir Coufal and Angelo Ogbonna. Following this, with Soucek’s red card being overturned, he looks set to retain his position in central midfield alongside Declan Rice.
Pablo Fornals is likely to return to the starting XI replacing Lingard. Andriy Yarmolenko is likely to start up front replacing Antonio who is said to be suffering with fatigue.
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