Man Utd vs West Ham preview, team news, line-ups and prediction
West Ham United travel to Old Trafford on matchday 23 of the Premier League as they seek their first League double over Manchester United in 17 years.
Amidst their challenges, United have retained their ability to salvage results from difficult situations. In a thrilling encounter against Wolverhampton Wanderers, the pressure on Erik ten Hag seemed poised to intensify when Wolves managed to level the score at 3-3 in stoppage time. However, Kobbie Mainoo came to the rescue with a remarkable curling strike in the 97th minute, sparing the Dutchman from further scrutiny and leaving United with optimism ahead of their upcoming clash with West Ham.
Despite late goals from Pablo Sarabia, Max Kilman, and Pedro Neto for Wolves, which responded to efforts from Rashford, Rasmus Hojlund, and Scott McTominay, the euphoria was short-lived as Neto’s equalizer was swiftly countered by a sensational solo effort from Red Devils’ prodigy, Mainoo which further solidified United’s grip on seventh place in the Premier League standings.
While Mainoo’s heroics rightfully earned praise, United narrowly avoided lamenting another lacklustre defensive performance, which has seen them concede 50 goals across all competitions this season, a feat matched only by relegation-threatened Sheffield United in the Premier League.
Notably, seven of these goals were conceded in their recent trio of Premier League home matches against Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa, and Bournemouth. However, by effectively matching offensive prowess with resilience at Molineux, United head into the weekend with a commendable record of three wins and a draw from their last four outings across all competitions.
For West Ham, while the spotlight shone brightly on the on-field action in the West Midlands on Thursday evening, transfer rumours took centre stage as details emerged regarding the failed transfers of Said Benrahma and Pablo Fornals.
Within just three minutes, Manchester City loanee, Kalvin Philips committed a costly error, gifting Dominic Solanke his 13th Premier League goal of the season. However, past the hour mark, James Ward-Prowse demonstrated his dead-ball prowess by converting a penalty, salvaging a point for the Europa Conference League holders.
Despite their hard-fought draw, West Ham remain one place and one point ahead of United in sixth position, albeit without a win in any of their last five matches across all competitions.
Nonetheless, West Ham’s six-game unbeaten streak in the Premier League is commendable. Although they managed to secure an impressive 2-0 victory against United at the London Stadium on December 23rd, their recent league visits to the Theatre of Dreams have ended in narrow 1-0 defeats on three consecutive occasions.
As United prepare for this fixture, they find themselves grappling with a recent slump, managing just three wins in their last nine Premier League outings. However, they have found some respite in cup competitions, securing victories over lower-league opponents Wigan and Newport County. On the other hand, West Ham arrive at Old Trafford in impressive form, unbeaten in their last six matches and tasting defeat only once in their previous 11 outings. These contrasting forms set the stage for what promises to be an exhilarating clash at Old Trafford.
Manchester United v West Ham match details
Location: Manchester, England
Stadium: Old Trafford
Date: Sunday 4 February
Kick-off-time: 14:00 GMT / 09:00 ET / 06:00 PT
Referee: Andy Madley
Assistant referees: Richard West, Nick Hopton.
Fourth official: Rob Jones
VAR: Chris Kavanagh
Tickets: Supporters can buy Man Utd tickets through the clubs website or via reputable online tickets resellers.
Match stats and head-to-head
•West Ham have clinched victories in their last two encounters against Manchester United while keeping clean sheets in those matches.
• David Moyes’ team has secured clean sheets in four of their last six Premier League fixtures.
•United have conceded the opening goal in four out of their last six Premier League games where a goal was scored.
•Former United manager David Moyes has only won one out of his 19 away games against the Red Devils in all competitions, which was an EFL Cup tie in September 2021.
• Marcus Rashford has either scored (three times) or assisted (once) in each of his last four Premier League appearances, marking his best streak of games with a goal involvement since a five-match run between January and February 2023.
• United’s defensive woes continue, as they have now conceded 52 goals across all competitions this season, becoming the second Premier League team to concede a half-century in the 2023-24 season after Sheffield United (59 goals). This marks the fewest number of games into a season (32) that United have conceded 50 goals in all competitions since 1977-78, when they did so within 31 matches.
•West Ham have performed well on the road this season, accumulating 17 points from their 11 away league games (five wins, two draws, four defeats), which is five more points than they collected on their travels in the 2022-23 season (three wins, three draws, 13 defeats).
•Despite their unbeaten streak of six league games, West Ham’s last three matches have ended in draws.
•Jarrod Bowen has been prolific away from the London Stadium, scoring seven away goals for West Ham in the Premier League this campaign. The last West Ham player to score more away goals in a single top-flight season was Mike Small, who scored nine in 1991-92.
• West Ham have struggled at Old Trafford, where United are undefeated in their last 15 Premier League games against them (12 wins, three draws). However, West Ham could achieve their first league double over United since 2006-07 when they won 1-0 at Old Trafford on the final day of the season to secure survival with Carlos Tevez scoring the decisive goal.
The thrilling encounter against Wolves witnessed Lisandro Martinez making his inaugural Premier League start since aggravating a foot injury in September. However, concerns loom over his availability for Sunday’s fixture after he was observed receiving treatment in the dugout towards the end of the match.
Manager Ten Hag downplayed Martinez’s substitution as precautionary, yet the hosts find themselves already managing without key players such as Anthony Martial (groin), Mason Mount (calf), and Tyrell Malacia (knee). However, the latter two are actively engaged in training and are expected to return to action soon.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s participation seems unlikely due to a leg issue, while Victor Lindelof, nursing a groin injury, stands a better chance of making it to the matchday squad. Additionally, Sofyan Amrabat is poised to join the squad after Morocco’s elimination from the Africa Cup of Nations.
West Ham manager Moyes, confirmed that Michail Antonio (knee) has yet to resume team training and remains unavailable.
The calf issue affecting Lucas Paqueta persists, and Benrahma is serving the final game of his three-match suspension following his red card in the FA Cup against Bristol City. On a positive note, right-back Vladimir Coufal returns from his suspension.
In defence, Nayef Aguerd’s potential return, akin to Amrabat’s situation, could bolster Moyes’s rearguard. While Phillips won’t necessarily be benched solely due to his mistake, Moyes might contemplate his inclusion considering the quick turnaround and his recent lack of match action.
Predicted starting line-up
Manchester United predicted starting lineup: Onana; Dalot, Varane, Martinez, Shaw; Mainoo, Casemiro; Garnacho, Fernandes, Rashford; Hojlund
West Ham United predicted starting lineup: Areola; Coufal, Mavropanos, Zouma, Emerson; Phillips, Soucek, Alvarez; Kudus, Ward-Prowse; Bowen
Despite a reputable home record last season, The Red Devils have struggled at home this season, losing four of their 11 Premier League games. On the other hand, West Ham boast the sixth-best away record, securing 17 points out of a possible 33.
West Ham’s away successes include notable wins at Arsenal and Tottenham, providing them with positive memories to draw upon. However, Manchester United’s recent improvement in the final third, coupled with their growing goal-scoring prowess, add another dimension to the contest.
Erik Ten Hag’s side is also seeking revenge following their defeat to West Ham before Christmas. Ten Hag will be counting on his attack to help secure back-to-back victories for United.
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