West Ham vs Man Utd Preview, Team News, Likely Line-Ups, Key Man + Predicted Score
Manchester United are in the capital to take on West Ham at Upton Park on Saturday afternoon. Here’s a preview with team news, likely line-ups and prediction.
Manchester United are in the capital to take on West Ham at Upton Park on Saturday afternoon looking to keep alive their fading hopes of finishing in the top four.
The defending champions slumped to a disappointing 3-0 defeat to Liverpool last Sunday to leave them trailing fourth-placed Manchester City by 12 points with their rivals also holding two games in hand, so it’s looking increasingly unlikely the Reds will finish in the top four this season.
They are still challenging for the Champions League trophy after a Robin van Persie hat-trick sealed a stunning turn-around against Olympaikos on Wednesday night. Although they will now have to overcome the reigning champions Bayern Munich after being paired with the German giants in Friday’s draw.
It was a much-improved display from United in midweek and David Moyes will be desperate to see a repeat of that kind of performance against West Ham tomorrow.
However, they will face a Hammers side that have won their last three home games on the bounce to see them rise up the table. Sam Allardyce’s men currently sit 12th but are still just six points from safety so will be keen to further extend the gap from the drop zone this weekend.
United have been dealt a huge blow with the news that Robin van Persie is out for four to six weeks with a sprained knee. The Dutchman was stretchered off against Olympiakos in midweek and scans have confirmed he’ll be on the sidelines for at least a month.
His absence is likely to see Wayne Rooney move into the lone striker role with Juan Mata returning to the side in his preferred central position after being cup-tied on Wednesday.
Danny Welbeck is likely to retain his place after an impressive outing against the Greeks, while Adnan Januzaj may come in for Antonio Valencia after the winger received a nasty eye injury following a clash of heads.
Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans are both expected to remain on the sidelines and with Nemanja Vidic suspended following his sending off against Liverpool, Rio Ferdinand is likely to keep his place alongside Phil Jones at the back.
Ryan Giggs put in a superb display last time out so could once again start with Michael Carrick in midfield, while Nani is pushing for a recall after returning to full fitness.
West Ham will continue to be without defender Joey O’Brien after he suffered a dislocated shoulder back in January, while on-loan forward Marco Borriello is also out with a calf injury.
Joe Cole is hoping to start after coming off the bench against Stoke last week, but Allardyce is likely to stick with Stewart Downing and Mohamed Diame in attack.
Wayne Rooney: The England forward is going to have to take over the goal-scoring mantel with RVP out for the foreseeable future, and he has an excellent record against West Ham, scoring seven and assisting three in his last seven appearances against the Londoners.
West Ham 1-1 Man Utd: United looked far better in midweek but their domestic form is poor and with West Ham impressive at home, we can see them taking something from the game.
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