Man Utd vs West Ham: Preview | Team News | Expected XIs: Amad to start | Prediction
Man Utd host West Ham at Old Trafford as both teams look to take all three points in order to help improve their chances of a top four finish
Man Utd host West Ham at Old Trafford this evening as both teams look to take all three points in order to help improve their chances of a top four finish in the Premier League.
Man Utd currently sit in second place in the table after their win over Man City last weekend, however, they’re still well behind the league leaders with 10 games left to play. West Ham currently sit in fifth place in the table, only three points behind fourth-place Chelsea.
This will be the third time these two teams have faced each other this season, with Man Utd coming out on top in both matches. However, the games have not been easy wins for the Reds, as seen in their FA Cup 5th Round tie where it took Utd extra time to find the match-winner.
With both teams missing some of their key players, it’s likely to be a tightly contested match and one which may end up having a significant impact on the race for top-four.
Man Utd will still be without Paul Pogba, Donny van de Beek, Edinson Cavani and Juan Mata this evening.
Speaking about Pogba, van de Beek and Mata in his pre-match press conference, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said, “It is taking a little bit longer than we expected, but we have three games now and then the international break and after that they will be available for us.”
On Cavani, Solskjaer said, “Edinson, I don’t think will be ready for Sunday, no.”
Marcus Rashford also missed the game mid-week, whilst Anthony Martial had to come off at half-time with a hip injury. In his post-match press conference, Solskjaer said, “Anthony got a whack on his hip so there’s another forward we need to scan and look at” and “I’m not sure [Rashford] will make Sunday but, fingers crossed, we will need him.”
Therefore, all three forwards are still a doubt for Sunday, however they have not been completely ruled out just yet.
In more positive news, David de Gea has returned to Manchester after taking some time off in Spain for the birth of his first child. However, he remains doubtful for the game due to quarantine rules, as confirmed by Solskjaer, “He is touch and go for Sunday I think because I can’t really know when he came back [to Manchester]”.
Unfortunately for West Ham, Man Utd loanee Jesse Lingard will be unable to face his parent club. This will be a big loss for the Hammers, as Lingard has been instrumental in getting the club to their current position in the table.
West Ham will also be without Arthur Masuaku, Angelo Ogbonna and Andriy Yarmolenko who are all still recovering from injuries picked up earlier in the year.
Darron Randolph and Ryan Fredericks are both still recovering from injuries so are also doubts for the game.
Man Utd (4-2-3-1): Henderson; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; McTominay, Fred; James, Fernandes, Amad; Greenwood.
As it is unknown whether de Gea will be out of quarantine, Dean Henderson is likely to be back in goal for Utd.
At the back, it is likely two changes will be made from mid-week. Luke Shaw will come in to replace Alex Telles on the left and Victor Lindelof in for Eric Bailly.
In the middle, Fred is likely to reclaim his spot in place of Nemanja Matic to partner Scott McTominay. With three of Utd’s midfielders injured, Solskjaer is unable to make any meaningful rotation to this area of the squad. This also means Bruno Fernandes will keep his position as the attacking midfielder.
Three of Solskjaer’s first-choice attackers are doubtful for this game. Therefore, we may see the young, talented Ivorian, Amad Diallo, making his starting debut on the right-wing for the club. Amad made a big impression on Thursday night against AC Milan, as he put Utd ahead with an impressive backward header into the goal.
Dan James may be pushed onto the left-wing for this game in place of Rashford, allowing Mason Greenwood to play through the middle.
West Ham (3-4-3): Fabianski; Dawson, Diop, Cresswell; Coufal, Soucek, Rice, Johnson; Bowen, Antonio, Fornals.
With Jesse Lingard out of the team, it is possible David Moyes may change the formation of his squad to a back three.
This would mean Vladimir Coufal would push into a right-wing back position and Ben Johnson would come into the team as a left-wing back. This would then allow Thomas Soucek and Declan Rice to operate in the middle of the field.
At the front, Pablo Fournals and Michel Antonio are likely to retain their spot as two out of the three attackers. The final spot on the left-wing will be fought over by Said Benrahma and Jarrod Bowen. As Benrahma started their previous game, Bowen might have the edge to start.
As previously mentioned, it is likely to be a tightly fought match – particularly as both teams will be missing some of their key players. A draw therefore looks the most likely outcome and one which Utd are likely to be happy with, taking into account their current position in the league.
Therefore, the score prediction is: Man Utd 1 – 1 West Ham
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