The last time Manchester United and West Ham United met each other was at Old Trafford in early December, with the two teams playing out a goalless stalemate following an equally contested battle in the Premier League.
At that time, United were sitting sixth in the table, only one point ahead of West Ham in seventh and right now the Hammers are in fifth, two points ahead of van Gaal’s boys. As the FA Cup being the only realistic shot at some silverware for both the teams, there are no doubts that the highly anticipated quarter final on Sunday will be one to watch.
The last round saw Manchester United see off Shrewsbury Town 3-0 away from home, with goals coming from Chris Smalling, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard. Whereas, West Ham demolished Blackburn Rovers with five goals, coming back from 1-0 down against the Championship fighters to win 5-1.
However, Manchester United step into this match on the back of two back-to-back defeats. Louis van Gaal’s side lost unexpectedly to West Bromwich Albion on Sunday in the league, as Juan Mata received a red card early on.
Thursday night’s disastrous performance followed with another shameful display and saw United lose to Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool at Anfield in the Europa League. The Red devils will certainly feel the weight on their shoulders ahead of tomorrow’s game after recent speculation over van Gaal’s future at the club, but with home advantage on their side the frustrated fans will be expecting an instant response from their disappointing form this week.
On the other hand, the visitors will arrive in Manchester as the favourites to snatch a win, entering the match on a six game unbeaten streak in all competitions. West Ham’s previous wins include a dramatic injury time win at Everton, coming from 2-0 down, and a 1-0 London derby victory at home to Tottenham.
The FA Cup tie between Manchester United and West Ham is scheduled to kick-off at 4pm (BST) on Sunday, March 13.
Jesse Lingard but is available after missing the Liverpool match due to a European suspension.
Wayne Rooney, Luke Shaw and Ashley Young remain on the sidelines, but Schweinsteiger is in line for a start after making his return from the bench on Thursday. Antonio Valencia is also in contention for a place in the squad.
While Ander Herrera is expected to replace Mata in the number 10 position, while Antony Martial should continue at attacking midfield, and Marcus Rashford as deployed upfront.
As for West Ham, Enner Valencia, Victor Moses and Joey O’Brien are all available after spells on the sidelines and Winston Reid could also return to the starting eleven as a centre-back.
James Collins and James Tomkins will both miss the match with injury, and January signing Sam Byram is cup-tied. Andy Carrol and Diafra Sakho meanwhile, are both ready to replace Emenike in the final third of the field.
Manchester United predicted eleven: De Gea; Darmian, Rojo, Smalling, Blind; Carrick, Schneiderlin; Depay, Herrera, Martial; Rashford.
West Ham predicted eleven: Adrian; Cresswell, Ogbonna, Oxford, Kouyate, Lanzini, Noble, Obiang, Antonio, Payet, Sakho.
Dimitri Payet vs David De Gea
Dimitri Payet always seems to be a player to look for in this West Ham team. The midfielder netted twice in his last FA Cup outing and has continued his impressive form in the league. On Sunday he will be up against a resolute David De Gea who has saved Manchester United on many occasions this term, including a man of the match performance to his individual success on Thursday night at Anfield. Now the question remains, will the Spaniard be successful to prevent Payet from finding the back of the net once more?
Daley Blind v Manuel Lanzini
United’s defense is a bit thin at the moment with Luke Shaw and Antonio Valencia out for long periods. Daley Blind has been a trusted player for Louis van Gaal and has been an integral part of the United defense along with Chris Smalling. In addition to being an intelligent defender, Blind has the eye for accurately picking out players at long-range. On Saturday, he will have to nullify the threat of Manuel Lanzini. The Argentine is skilful on the ball and is a menace to defenses on any given day. He is also a deadly finisher and already has four Premier League goals to his name. He will look to exploit United’s supposed weak link in defense by attacking Blind.
This is the ninth time these sides have been drawn in the FA Cup – the previous eight have alternated between West Ham progressing twice and United progressing twice.
Manchester United have lost their last two FA Cup home games against fellow Premier League sides, both by a 2-1 scoreline (Swansea City in 2014 and Arsenal in 2015).
West Ham scored as many goals in their last FA Cup away game as they had in their previous 11 in the competition (5).
United have netted 12 goals in their last four home games in all competitions – the same amount they’d scored at Old Trafford in their previous 13 matches.
Michail Antonio has scored in his last three appearances for West Ham in all competitions.
Manchester United Win – 19/20
Draw – 12/5
West Ham Win – 3/1
West Ham will be full of confidence when they step into the match, but Manchester United have been quite strong at home this term and we think these two side will play out a 1-1 draw and therefore need a replay to decide who makes the semi-finals.